The Expository Files

 

Who Do You Trust?


"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish," Psalm 146:3,4.

In certain cases, the erosion of our trust in men is justified and can become a healthy step toward maturity. A cynical suspicion of all men has an absence of virtue, and can motivate a variety of wrong behaviors. But there are cases where we ought to diminish our trust in men. And it shall always be true, an increase in our faith God is our challenge. {See the case of God's people trusting in the Egyptians, not God, in Isaiah 31.}

First, there is an essential difference between deity and humanity that should be fundamental to our faith and the obedience of our faith (Num. 23:19). If we are not clear about the difference between the Creator and the created, we are set on the wrong course (see Rom. 1:18-32). Men are sinners, fallible and carry the capacity to disappoint us. God is perfect, infallible and will never disappoint you (Heb. 13:5). Christ was and is perfect and divine, deserving of our trust. "A man who can read the New Testament and not see that Christ claims to be more than a man can look all over the sky at high noon on a cloudless day and not see the sun," (William Edward Bierderwolf).

Men, who may stir up exaggerated esteem in us, are simply not worthy of the trust we can place in God. Men and women, even at their best, should not be revered as we revere God. Men can possess great charm, enjoy popularity and esteem and be exalted by their peers, yet be corrupt in character. Their corruption may lie hidden while you follow them and confide in them, to your own peril {Matt. 7:15; Phil. 3:2}.

If you "faith" is dependent upon the conduct of men, you set yourself up for disappointment. Love all men, love the brotherhood and note those who exemplify integrity and righteousness, but watch and beware of men (1 Pet. 2:17; Phil. 3:17-19). Learn from good teachers and be receptive to good influence and experience. But keep men in their place (1 Cor. 1:25). Trust God, "with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning," (Jas. 1:18). As you read the Bible, discover and meditate on "the immutability of His counsel ... in which it is impossible for God to lie." Find your "strong consolation" in Him (Heb. 6:17,18).

What happens when we cultivate an unjustified trust in men and submission to them? Read the book of First Corinthians. "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men," (1 Cor. 1:25). As it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord," (1 Cor. 1:31). The first four chapters in First Corinthians put us on alert to the danger. We are taught here "not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other," (1 Cor. 4:6). There was a form of humanism in the culture of Corinth. It invaded in the church, with devastating results.

There is a subtle, quiet intrusion men can make into our faith, leading to idolatry. Men can make an impression on us (with or without their intention), that tempts us to esteem them beyond what is sound and wise.

Trust in God. Find your motivation, steadfastness and courage in Him, as He is revealed by His Son in His Word. You can't go wrong this way.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 14.1 January 2007

 

 

 

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