The Bible Day 32: Examining Whether We Can Trust God? (Proverbs 3:21-35, Matt 21:18-32, Job 22-24)
In examining whether we can trust God, we dive into the wisdom of scripture, seeking guidance from passages such as Proverbs 3:21-35, Matthew 21:18-32, and the dialogue between Job and his friends in Job 22-24. These texts offer profound insights into the nature of trust, the character of God, and the complexities of human understanding. By exploring these passages, we aim to uncover the foundations upon which faith in God is built and understand the challenges and rewards of placing our trust in the divine.
Wisdom Reading: Proverbs 3:21-35
Proverbs 3:21-35 offers invaluable wisdom on the topic of trust in God. Within these verses, we encounter teachings that emphasize the importance of understanding, humility, and integrity in our relationship with God. Through exploring this passage, we gain insights into the benefits of trusting in God's guidance, the dangers of relying solely on our understanding, and the moral principles that underpin a life of faith. As we delve into Proverbs 3:21-35, we are invited to reflect on how trust in God shapes our character, influences our decisions, and enriches our lives with blessings and security.
Verse 21: "My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;"
- Spiritual Teaching: The passage begins with a paternal instruction, highlighting the importance of wisdom, understanding, sound judgment, and discretion. It underscores the necessity of valuing and safeguarding these virtues in one's life.
- Trust in God: Trust in God involves recognizing the wisdom and understanding He provides. By seeking knowledge and experience from God, we acknowledge His sovereignty and rely on His guidance, which fosters trust in His divine knowledge.
Verse 22: "They will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck."
- Spiritual Teaching: Wisdom and understanding are depicted as sources of life and adornment, enriching and beautifying one's existence.
- Trust in God: Trusting in God involves recognizing His wisdom and understanding, bringing life and blessings. By embracing His wisdom, we acknowledge His goodness and trustworthiness.
Verse 23: "Then you will go safely, and your foot will not stumble."
- Spiritual Teaching: Following wisdom and understanding promotes safety and stability, protecting one from stumbling or falling.
- Trust in God: Trusting in God involves believing that His guidance leads to safety and security. By placing our trust in Him, we rely on His faithfulness to guide and protect us along life's journey.
Verse 24: "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."
- Spiritual Teaching: Living wisely and trusting in God brings peace and tranquility, dispelling fear and ensuring restful sleep.
- Trust in God: Trusting in God involves experiencing peace and rest in His presence. By entrusting our worries and fears to Him, we find comfort and assurance in His care.
Verse 25: "Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,"
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting in God banishes fear of unexpected calamity or the downfall of the wicked.
- Trust in God: Trusting in God involves having confidence in His providence and sovereignty, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity. We find courage and hope amidst life's trials by trusting His goodness and justice.
In summary, Proverbs 3:21-25 emphasizes the importance of wisdom, understanding, and trust in God. It teaches that embracing God's wisdom leads to blessings, safety, and peace, ultimately fostering a deep and unwavering trust in His faithfulness and goodness.
New Testament Reading Matthew 21:18-32
Matthew 21:18-32 in the New International Version (NIV) recounts two significant events: the fig tree's cursing and the two sons' parable. Let's break down each scripture and explore its understanding and spiritual teachings regarding trust in God:
1. Matthew 21:18-22 (NIV): The Fig Tree Withered
- This passage begins with Jesus' hunger and seeing a fig tree by the road. He finds no fruit on it and curses it, causing it to wither instantly.
- Understanding: The fig tree represents Israel, which outwardly displayed signs of religious devotion but lacked true spiritual fruitfulness. Jesus' action signifies judgment upon those who claim religious piety but lack genuine faith.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trust in God's judgment and discernment. Just as Jesus could discern the fig tree's lack of fruit, so too can God discern the authenticity of our faith. Genuine trust in God involves producing spiritual fruit, not just outward displays of piety.
2. Matthew 21:23-27 (NIV): Jesus' Authority Questioned
- The religious leaders question Jesus' authority, and He responds with a question about John the Baptist's authority.
- Understanding: The religious leaders were more concerned with maintaining their authority than recognizing the authority of Jesus, who came from God.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting God means recognizing and submitting to His ultimate authority. When we question God's authority or prioritize our agendas, we lack trust in His sovereignty.
3. Matthew 21:28-32 (NIV): The Parable of the Two Sons
- A father asks his two sons to work in the vineyard. The first son initially refuses but later obeys, while the second son agrees but does not go.
- Understanding: The first son represents sinners who initially reject God but repent and obey Him later. The second son represents religious leaders who claim obedience but fail to follow through with genuine actions.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting God involves genuine obedience and repentance, not just lip service or outward compliance. God values sincerity and humility over religious pretense.
In summary, Matthew 21:18-32 teaches us that trusting God requires genuine faith, obedience, and humility. It warns against outward displays of religious piety without true spiritual fruitfulness and emphasizes the importance of recognizing and submitting to God's authority. These teachings and examples teach us to trust God's discernment, sovereignty, and transformative power.
Old Testament Reading Job 22-24
Job 22-24 in the New International Version (NIV) contains Job's response to Eliphaz's accusations, Job's lamentation, and his plea for justice. Let's break down each scripture and explore its understanding and spiritual teachings regarding trust in God:
1. Job 22:1-30 (NIV): Eliphaz Accuses Job
- Eliphaz accuses Job of sinning and urges him to repent, claiming that God punishes the wicked and rewards the righteous.
- Understanding: Eliphaz represents the traditional view that suffering directly results from personal sin. He assumes Job's suffering must be punishment for hidden sins.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting God means understanding that suffering does not always result from personal sin. While sin can lead to consequences, suffering can also be part of a larger, mysterious divine plan. Trusting God requires humility and refraining from making hasty judgments about others' suffering.
2. Job 23:1-17 (NIV): Job's Lamentation
- Job expresses his longing to find God and present his case before Him. He feels abandoned by God and wishes for a fair hearing.
- Understanding: Job wrestles with feelings of abandonment and seeks answers from God. He longs for assurance and justice amid his suffering.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting God means persevering in faith even when we cannot understand our circumstances. Job's lamentation demonstrates the importance of honest communication with God, even in despair. Trusting God involves acknowledging our limitations and seeking His presence and guidance despite our doubts.
3. Job 24:1-25 (NIV): Job's Plea for Justice
- Job questions why the wicked seem to prosper while the innocent suffer. He describes various acts of injustice and oppression.
- Understanding: Job observes the apparent injustice in the world and questions why God allows it to persist.
- Spiritual Teaching: Trusting God means grappling with the complexities of human suffering and injustice while maintaining faith in His righteousness and sovereignty. Job's plea for justice highlights the tension between human understanding and divine providence. Trusting God requires us to acknowledge the limits of our knowledge and rely on His wisdom and justice, even when circumstances seem unjust.
In summary, Job 22-24 challenges our understanding of suffering and justice while emphasizing the importance of trusting God amidst trials and uncertainties. It reminds us that trust in God involves humility, perseverance, and honesty in our relationship. Despite our questions and doubts, trusting God means acknowledging His sovereignty and righteousness, even when circumstances seem unjust or incomprehensible.
In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell
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