What do I do in this present circumstance? How do I know which way to go? What will happen to me now? These questions incessantly haunt us and cause us fear and anxiety. One of the most common themes running through Scripture is the need for man to trust God over his own reasons and speculation. As Solomon says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
In our first passage we see the Lord prohibit fear of any kind in the hearts of his people. As they prepare to enter the land of Canaan they will encounter war and resistance. We always do. However, the Lord gives himself as the reason his people may not fear. I am with you, I will sustain you, I’m your shield, and I’ll take care of you. In obeying God to not fear we liberate ourselves from all manner of evil. We are free to live before him, free from others, free from ourselves, free to love God.
Our second passage speaks to the loss of Ezekiel’s wife. It was a hard loss. How could God’s servant ever make sense of this? He probably did not. All Ezekiel knew was that God was good and he could be trusted. The Lord took his wife in one stroke. Then he prohibited Ezekiel from mourning for her: no funeral, no memorial service, and no public bereavement. The Lord will ask hard things of us, he will ask us to trust him and the future will be unknown to us. This is faith. For our own good and for his glory we meekly accept his will for us, trusting him to manage all things well.
Finally, in the passage from Hosea God asks Hosea to be forbearing with an adulterous wife. He married her, had two children with her, and then she left him. He pursued her and took her back because the Lord told him too. This behavior is not in keeping with the normal response to adultery. Once again the Lord asks his servant for something difficult and his servant obeys. May we too simply trust God with our affections and our souls. He knows the future and he loves us.
It is such a simple truth: trust God over yourself. If he told us the immediate future and always revealed his will for the minutia there would be no need for trust. This is not how it goes in real life. In real life he asks us to trust him in the face of the unknown. Trusting in his character and declining fear we glorify him and preserve our own souls in joy and happiness.
This message was taken from the following passages: Deut. 8:21, Ezek. 24:15-18, Hosea 3:1-3. Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.