The Rev. Dan Puckett: Who do we trust is the issuePublished 10:32am Friday, September 18, 2009
1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient”; trust must be patient or long suffering.
1 Corinthians 13:7 continues, “Love always hopes, always perseveres.” For trust to be trust, it must always hope and never give up.
The issue between us and God is trust. Will we trust Him? God is the maker of heaven and earth. He created everything and the Holy Scriptures tell us that one day He will destroy everything we see and create a new heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:10-13). If you cannot trust God, who can you trust?
God does not assume that we, His created beings, will automatically trust Him. He puts us in circumstances that stretch our thinking and our experience. God puts us on the ragged edge to see in whom or what we will place our confidence.
This is not new. When God created Adam and Eve, they were placed in the Garden of Eden, a perfect environment. They had need of nothing; everything they needed was provided for them. They had comfort, security, relationship, and status. When God put Adam and Eve in the garden, He put two unique trees in the middle of the garden. There was the “tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9). The tree of life was not forbidden and was available to eat. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden.
Life was good for Adam and Eve. They had everything they needed, but in the midst of all that, they did what we do. They began to take things for granted. They knew about the tree of life, and as God tells us later, they obviously never ate of it, because God had to banish them from the garden after they had sinned lest they would eat of the tree of life and live forever (Genesis 3:22). They passed up what was good and available because they saw no urgent need for it.
The other tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, had a certain lure. It was forbidden and it was unknown. Curiosity is ever the enemy of trust. It did not take much to tip the status quo. A serpent, the devil (obviously the enemy of God and His creation), talked to the woman about the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:1). The devil’s first question was, “Did God really say … ?” (Genesis 3:1). The second statement of the devil to the woman questioned God’s right to be the authority in her life.
Trust was challenged; trust was eroding. The forbidden fruit took on a new look. Trust in God was so destroyed that the woman changed her thinking. Genesis 3:6 declares, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it ….”
Did Adam and Eve need that fruit? Did they need what the fruit offered? The answer is no. Had they trusted God to be their source and authority, they would have been content to realize that they already had all they needed in God. The only adventure in learning they really needed was to deepen their knowledge of God.
Regardless of who we are and what our station in life is, we face the crisis of trust every day. Will we trust that God has the ability and the interest to care for us, or will we forage for ourselves in the never ending quest for what only can be found in God?
It is all about trust. Either God is God or He is not!
The Rev. Dan Puckett is a minister with Life Action Ministries.