Saturday, February 13, 2010

Place your trust in His Name

We're going to start this morning in Psalm 33.  A pet peeve of mine is the notion that an entire idea or theory can be built upon just one verse; many times that verse is taken out of context and is manipulated to fit the idea or theory and call it "biblical."  The verse in which "trust" is housed that we'll review is Ps 33:21 - "In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name."  By virtue of the fact we put our trust in Him I'd assume that He is trustworthy.  What I love about this psalm is all the other examples of supposedly trustworthy people/things that fail in comparison to our Lord as well as the reasons behind placing our trust in Him.

The "word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does" (vs. 4) starts off the litany of why He is worthy of our trust.  He "loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love" (vs. 5).  Take a look at verses six through 15 and see example after example which prove His trustworthiness.  By His word were all things made, "He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; He puts the deep into storehouses", all things came into being by His mere word, plans of the nations cannot stand against Him, He defeats all purposes of man set against Him.  I love the description of his omnipotence and omniscience in verses 13 through 15.  Do you want to trust Him who sees, ponders, and forms all?  About whom else could all this be said?

Kings, warriors, and horses are saved neither by the size of their army nor their great strength (vs. 16,17).  The Lord keeps His eyes out for those that hope in Him, for those that put their trust in Him.  As a result we rejoice in Him because our trust has been placed in the One, the only "one", who is worthy of our trust.

Okay, I don't know about you, that's all well and good, but what does this whole "trust" thing mean?  Seriously, I know that I "trust" the chair in which I sit to hold me up.  I "trust" that gravity will keep my car on the road.  Trust in that sense isn't what I'm talking about in context of Him, nor is it what the scripture talks about in Psalm 33.  The word "trust" in verse 21 is the Hebrew word "batach" which means "to hie for refuge."  Personally, I had to look up "hie" and it means speed, race, rush, move fast; for example "He rushed (hied) down the hall to meet his guests."  I am confident of my safety in a refuge and I rush to that refuge in light of my need for provision.  Trust then is the action of rushing to Him because I am assured of His capacity to provide.  When compared with the alternatives (kings, warriors, horses) He is the one most able to deliver.

Look back at verse 21 and in what about Him do we place our trust?  It's in "His holy Name."  If you've ever done a study of the names of God it is truly amazing and how many names there are for Him and the difference piece of His character each name describes.  If you'd like to delve into His names please click here and you can get started.  The list, by its own admission, is not exhaustive, however it will certainly be a good starting point for you.  That said it would appear to me that the psalmist is pointing out that by trusting in His name we are trusting in every aspect of who He is.  I may be reaching there, so take that last comment with a grain of salt.

Here's where I get really excited about how the Lord uses the exact words of scripture to paint pictures of who He is, then reinforces one verse with this!  Remember that the word "trust" in Ps 33:21 means "to hie for refuge."  Read the following verses please:  Psalm 5:11, Psalm 31:19, and Isaiah 57:13.  What one word is in each of those verses?  That's right - REFUGE!!  The word translated "refuge" in these verses is the Hebrew word "chacah" which means "to flee for protection."  We can trust in His holy name and make him our refuge.  This points out another aspect of trust that I want to discuss.

Use the following analogy:  the chair is trustworthy regardless of the trust I place in it.  It can hold my weight, but I can choose not to place my trust in it by sitting down.  Conversely I can place my trust in my hand to stop a bullet, yet you can imagine the result when the rifle is fired and the bullet makes its way neatly through my flesh.  My point?  Whether your exercise your trust or not has no bearing upon the trustworthiness of the object of your trust.  Said another way, whether you trust in Him or not has no bearing on His trustworthiness.  Bluntly, He is worth of your trust (Ps 33 in particular and the entire redemptive history of the Bible in general).  He who is greater and creator is master of the lesser and created, period.  You have a refuge available to you; Him.  I suggest you hie on over there today!

Last couple of points and I'll bring this morning to a close.  Trust is an action, not a feeling.  Remember to have truth drive your actions which yield emotions to be pondered, but not acted upon.  He is trustworthy, I am in need of a refuge and rush to Him, and I will eventually have an emotional reaction that lines up accordingly.  Why do I say it this way?  Experience tells me that I run to refuge when I'm in fear.  When I make it to safety I am filled with relief and, honestly, lingering doubt about the ability of my refuge to protect me.  By His grace I am called to act according to truth, not feel according to truth.  My emotion of doubt has no bearing on His trustworthiness but is rather a reflection of how far to go I have in my sanctification.  My level of trust is irrelevant in light of the Object of my trust.  Thank You, Father, its about You and not me!

Lord thank You for meeting us this morning.  Thank You for the presence of Your Spirit and His explanation of Your word.  Again I ask for forgiveness if I have in anyway misrepresented You, Your character or Your word.  With an difference of opinion as to what You've said may we dig deeper and defend or dig deeper and amend.  Praise Your Holy Name, Lord.  In Jesus' name, amen.


  1. The sentence that sticks out to me is..."Trust is an action, not a feeling". This is sooo true and actions require effort and persistence. This also reminds me of a previous entry when you first mentioned the truth driving the train concept. It's good to be reminded to pursue that end and I'd ask you to continue to bring it up throughout...I could certainly use it. Again, tremendous writing.

  2. The following is an excerpt from the book "Opening Up Proverbs" by Jim Newheiser, 2008, Day One Publications:

    Proverbs 3:5–6 (Opening up Proverbs)
    Trust in the LORD (vv. 5–6)
    Trust God entirely, ‘with all your heart’ (v. 5a). God demands an undivided commitment to himself. Too often Israel had a loyalty divided between the LORD and the false gods of the nations. We can be tempted to trust the wisdom of the world rather than rely upon divine revelation. The psalmist says, ‘I hate those who are double-minded’ (Ps. 119:113). Jesus said, ‘No one can serve two masters’ (Matt. 6:24a), and he taught that the greatest commandment is to ‘love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30).
    Trust God exclusively, and ‘do not lean on your own understanding’ (v. 5b). By nature we are inclined to foolishly rely upon our own inclinations and desires: ‘All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way’ (Isa. 53:6). Many people make crucial life decisions in areas such as marriage, finances, and vocation not based upon God’s revealed Word but their feelings. Proverbs tells us that our feelings are unreliable: ‘There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death’ (14:12); ‘he who trusts in his own heart is a fool’ (28:26a). A man may feel that he would be happier if he were to divorce his wife. A mother may not feel like using the rod of discipline on her children. In their quest to grow, churches may be tempted to resort to worldly methodologies that compromise biblical principles. The wise man does not lean on his own understanding but trusts that God’s way is best. The one who chooses his own way arrogantly claims that he knows better than God.
    Proverbs also warns us against being improperly influenced by other people: ‘The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted’ (29:25). We must evaluate the counsel and influence of friends, family members, and worldly experts against the Word of God, and we must have the courage to risk their disapproval when Scripture directs us otherwise. The command to trust God also brings to mind the way of salvation. Conversion takes place when we repent of trusting in our own goodness and wisdom and put our faith in what God has done for us in Christ (Eph. 2:8–9).
    Trust God extensively: ‘In all your ways acknowledge Him’ (v. 6a). We are not merely to acknowledge God’s lordship over our religious life; we are to bring God’s truth to bear on every aspect of life. We trust him in how we run our families, our education, our careers, our finances, and our friendships. He is Lord of all! Abraham Kuyper said, ‘In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, “That is mine!” ’ The wise person is characterized by continuous contemplation of God and a ready observance of his will, not only in the great issues of life but also in day-to-day routine. No matter is too small for God’s attention. To paraphrase one commentator, it is self-idolatry to think we can carry on even the most ordinary matters without his counsel.
    God blesses those who trust him: ‘He will make your paths straight’ (v. 6b). The person who trusts God entirely, exclusively, and extensively will enjoy success in life.