God is Holy - That's Why We Can Trust Him

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 27, 2014 0 comments

I want you to think back to a time in your life where you really had to trust someone to have your best interest in mind when you were unsure of how things would turn out. In reality, we all have to do that a lot more often than we think. The first time you get on an airplane, you have to trust that the pilots have your safety in mind, even though you likely don’t know them. When you order food at a restaurant, you have to trust that the preparers and servers do not want you to get sick and will do what is necessary to make sure that doesn’t happen. If you’ve ridden a roller coaster, you trusted that the park employees and even the engineers of the ride had your best interest in mind. These are all people we don’t really KNOW and we probably don’t spend much time thinking about the threats associated with their potential negligence.

I’m thinking more specifically of some times in my life when a gigantic unknown was staring me right in the face and the only way I could move forward from paralyzing fear to joyous freedom was to trust in someone who not only knew about the other side of that unknown but also knew and loved ME and did not want my destruction. I think about when my brother and I had to learn to swim. We were terrified, but our trust was in our dad who would not let us drown. I think about learning to ride a bike. Again, my trust was in my dad. There were many other firsts in my life for which I had to trust in my parents, as well as other adventures as an adult where I had to trust in the advice of mentors or Godly friends who I believed deeply cared for me. I’m sure all of you can come up with some such moments in your lives as well.

The practice of trusting in God is often compared to the way an innocent and helpless child trusts in his parents. While this is somewhat accurate, there are some differences. Despite all the times my parents did not let me down and did keep me safe, there are a few memories of times where I was hurt by their mistakes or poor judgment. God may allow me to go through some suffering to help me grow or to reveal himself to others, but he does not make mistakes or judge wrongly. Another major difference is that I can see my parents and my knowledge of their presence does not rely on faith. I cannot see God. I also have no reason to think that God favors me over anyone else in creation like my parents do, so my faith and trust can’t be in anything else but his good and holy nature.

God has really been putting on my heart lately how important this is when we face false accusations, when others misunderstand or misrepresent things we say, or when others spread rumors to damage our reputations. The prophet Habakkuk in the Old Testament was brought to a point of questioning what in the world God was doing. In Habakkuk 1:2, he asks, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” You have probably uttered those words to God at some point in your life. Habakkuk was confused because God had been allowing “wicked” nations to basically have their way with Israel, God’s chosen people. The prophet couldn’t understand why God would allow pagan nations to punish Israel when those other nations were even more sinful, at least in the eyes of the Israelites. When God assures him in Habakkuk 1:5-6 that he is still in control and that the Babylonians (possibly the worst of them all) will be used to carry out God’s punishment on Israel, Habakkuk has a choice to either give up on his faith or stand firm believing that God knows what is best. Rather than find hope in his own understanding of God’s plan, Habakkuk stands firm on God’s holiness. “O Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O Lord, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (1:12-13a).

Habakkuk went on to ask more questions, but when nothing else made sense to him he stood on God’s holiness. He accepted that God’s nature required him to punish Israel for their sin, but also trusted that it meant he would hold the Babylonians accountable for their wickedness. Habakkuk’s trust that God’s nature would prevail meant that he didn’t need to worry about making sure the Babylonians faced their due consequences. Do you find yourself getting defensive when others try to harm you, or say untrue things about you, or seem to be getting away with what they did to you? If you stand firm on God’s holiness like Habakkuk did, you can be set free from that need to control something that only God can handle. You can trust that God will never allow injustice (as he sees it) to win because his HOLY name is on the line!

Jesus was the best example of this. Read about his trial with the Sanhedrin shortly before he is killed in Matthew 26:57-68. The chief priests and the Sanhedrin try to find false evidence against him, but they can’t. Many other false witnesses come forward, but Jesus says nothing. Even when they misunderstand something Jesus did say and basically accuse him of terrorism, he still refuses to defend himself. When he does speak, he only testifies to the truth of his identity. When they physically attack him, he still does not fight back. In a parallel story in Luke 22, Jesus even heals the ear of the servant of the high priest after one of his disciples cuts it off with a sword (vv. 50-51). These stories not only show the remarkable holiness of Jesus as God in the flesh (they couldn’t find any legitimate evidence against him), but also his firm faith and trust as a man in the holiness of his Father. Because he trusted in his Father’s will and his holy nature, Jesus did not need to defend himself verbally or physically.

How can you apply the examples of Habakkuk and Jesus to your life? When you feel wronged by someone else and feel like they are getting away with it, admit to yourself and to God that you don’t know the big picture as he does and you don’t know the future. God does and his holy nature is not one of the things you can depend on – it’s the ONLY THING!