Monday, April 1, 2013

God Rewards Trust

By Joe Chesser

            Some people just don’t get it.  If you tell them that the stove is hot, they have to touch it see if you are right.  If you tell them they ought to save for a rainy day, they just keep on spending everything they make.  If you tell them not to drink and drive, they think you mean someone else.  Some people just don’t trust anyone but themselves.
            The Israelites who were given their freedom from Egypt were that way.  They had seen the mighty works of God as He brought plague after plague on the Egyptians.  They had seen how God had parted the Red Sea for them and how He had drowned the powerful Egyptian army in the same sea.  They had seen water come from a rock and food form like dew every morning except the 7th day.  But when the time came for them to conquer the Promised Land, they cowered in fear, thinking of themselves as grasshoppers before the giants of Canaan (Num. 13:33).  They rebelled against God and against Moses and refused to do what God told them to do.  In spite of all that they had seen, they did not trust in the Lord and do what He told them to do (Deut. 1:32).
            As if that weren’t bad enough, when they were told that God was going to punish them for their fear and rebellion by wandering in the desert until their death, they replied “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God has commanded us” (Deut. 1:41).  But it was too late for that.  In fact, God this time told them specifically, “Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you.  You will be defeated by your enemies” (Deut. 1:42).  Once again they rebelled against the Lord.  In their arrogance they marched up to the hill country to fight their enemy, but were soundly defeated.  They wept before the Lord, but He “turned a deaf ear” to them (Deut. 1:43-45). Some people just don’t get it.  Some people just don’t trust God.
            But some people do.  Joshua and Caleb got it. They were the only Israelites who were 20 and older at the time of this rebellion to enter the Promised Land.  The reason why God allowed them to enter is simple – they followed the Lord “wholeheartedly” (Deut. 1:36).  They didn’t argue with God or go against His command. They trusted God. They didn’t analyze the opposition to determine if the mission could be accomplished.  They trusted God.  It didn’t matter that there were giants in the land.  They trusted God. And God rewarded their trust (Deut. 1:36-37).
            God still seeks and rewards people like this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths strait” (Prov. 3:5-6).  God still seeks and rewards people who are not afraid to step away from the crowd to do His will regardless of how bizarre it may seem. God still seeks and rewards people who choose to do His will when He says instead of waiting until it’s too late. “Since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it” (Heb. 4:1). God rewards trust!

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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