Adam and Eve knew perfect happiness with God in the garden, until one day, the crafty serpent sowed the seeds to distrust God. The tempter challenged Eve, “Did God actually say…?”, directly contradicted what God had said, “You will not surely die,” and finally suggested that God was holding back something desirable from her, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” We know the terrible consequences that followed that initial unbelief, and we can trace that same thread through the history of God’s people right into our own lives. Our responses to those same accusations of God lie underneath our every act of disobedience: “God didn’t really mean that” “Is obedience really consequential?” “Is he withholding something from me that I’d be better off having?”
Having trust issues with God is no trifling matter. We call his constancy, justice, goodness, wisdom, his whole character into question. In Numbers 13 and 14, we see how the Lord defines distrust. The same Israelites who had just been mightily delivered from slavery in Egypt are told to “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel.” As you may remember, 10 of the 12 spies came back with the message, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” By their anxious report, the whole congregation turned to rebellion. The Lord’s response is very informative: “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?” The Israelites did not believe God’s promise to give them the land or in his power to do so, despite His recent demonstrations to the contrary. He defines this unbelief as despising his very self.
People are not trustworthy, but “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.” To conflate our trust issues of man with God is to make him in our image. To despise our life-giver is death. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, the 10 spies and their followers did not go into the land. Our own pet excuses will meet a similar end. But! (a gospel signal word) But by the blood of Jesus, our distrusting, God-despising hearts are healed. He restores to us the eyes to rightly see His nature as he has revealed it to us and to interpret everything else accordingly. The 2 faithful spies could see the God who heard the cries of his people in bondage, who used his power to deliver them from Egypt, and conclude that the enemy giants in the promised land were of little consequence.
Likewise, dear Christian, we need not sinfully fear the obstacles on our road to glory or distrust the commands our heavenly Father has given for us to be happy and holy. Romans 8:32 is incredibly illuminating on this point: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Thomas Brooks gives us a good thought about what is included when God promises to be our God and give us all things:
“That is as if he said, You shall have as true an interest in all my attributes for your good, as they are mine for my own glory…My grace, saith God, shall be yours to pardon you, and my power shall be yours to protect you, and my wisdom shall be yours to direct you, and my goodness shall be yours to relieve you, and my mercy shall be yours to supply you, and my glory shall be yours to crown you. This is a comprehensive promise, for God to be our God: it includes all.”
Leave a Reply