How does God prove to us we can trust him?  

God gave himself this same challenge with the Israelites: How to prove to them that they could trust him? 

In Exodus 19 he explained how he went about it. First of all, verse 4, “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you out myself.” So, first of all, God made himself known to them by some pretty impressive miracles. And miracles that meant a great deal to them personally too, because they were trapped in a hopeless existence, with no way out. 

I can vouch for that in my own life. As a teenager I was stuck in a life I hated, and there was nothing I could see in my future that even remotely made life worth living. But then, out of the blue, the one thing I’d dreamt of happening all through my teenage – that I’d given up on ever happening – actually happened. It was God’s way of making himself known to me, because it was so perfectly tailored to my need that even I could see it was him. So, first step done. And the same for the Israelites; they knew their escape from Egypt was God’s doing too.

To the next step, then, in verse 5: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” And somehow I got that point too, because I found myself seriously wanting to obey God, something I’d never done before. And I was the only one “out of all” my friends as well, just like Israel was. And it soon became obvious by the things I was learning and the changes in my mental state, that God was treating me like a “treasured possession” too. 

And that’s how God proved to me I could trust him. And it could have been that way for the Israelites too, because they started off really well (verse 8). But, now that they knew God could be trusted, would they trust him? God had passed the trust test, but would they? Would they return the favour, so to speak, and fulfill God’s dream? The dream simply being that they’d trust him whenever things got rough in the future. And isn’t that the same for all of us too? Life is an endless challenge of situations and issues that constantly call upon us to trust him.       

But that was the challenge the Israelites never rose to, because when things got rough, they gave up on God (Hebrews 3:9-10, 12). And what a pity that was, because the reason God allowed situations to keep cropping up was to prove to them even more that he could be trusted, in how he always came to their aid. 

The result of which, for the Israelites. would have been “entering God’s rest” (Hebrews 3:11), that wonderful state Paul described in Philippians 4:12, in which “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” The secret being? Verse 13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” 

And that’s how God proves to us we can trust him, again, and again, and… 

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