Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 27, 2015

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles 21:1-8.

“1 Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.  2 So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.”  3 Joab said, “May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are!  But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants?  Why does my lord seek this thing?  Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?”  4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab.  Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.  5 Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David.  And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword;  and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword.  6 But he did not number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab.

7 God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel.  8 David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing.  But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”    1 Chronicles 21:1-8.

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Satan moved David to number Israel, enticing David to the sin of trusting man rather than trusting God.

We too may do things that on its face may seem innocent or that we try to justify.  But, those things show the sin of trusting man rather than trusting God.

One specific thing that Israel did was trust Egypt to deliver them.  It may seem innocent to get help.  Leaders of Israel may have even tried to justify it as self-preservation.  But, here is what the LORD said.

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!”  Isaiah 31:1.

More generally, Scripture sharply contrasts and sets apart those who trust in mankind from those who trust in the LORD.

“5 Thus says the Lord,
Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:5-8.

“7 “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches
And was strong in his evil desire.”

8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”  Psalm 52:7-9.

How will we trust the LORD more?

The tree language of Jeremiah 17:8 is similar to tree language in Psalm 1:3, and the preceding verse provides a clue as to how we will trust the Lord more.

“2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:2-3.

Thus, we will trust the Lord more through meditating on Scripture.

“4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.”  Psalm 40:4-5.

When we meditate on God’s works in Scripture, we trust the Lord more and are not afraid.

“3 When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?”  Psalm 56:3-4.

” 5 My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold;  I shall not be shaken.
7 On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.”  Psalm 62:5-8.

“10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”  Psalm 32:10-11.

“2 “Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”
3 Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
5 Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
6 Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 12:2-6.

“3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
4 “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”  Isaiah 26:3-4.

Which doctrine helps you trust in God?

Other doctrine which focuses on man, man’s works, and man’s will?

Or, Reformed Doctrine which focuses on God, God’s works, and God’s will from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation?

The following Psalm chapter 91 was my mother’s favorite Scripture, and one of my favorite Scriptures as well.  It speaks of the blessing upon those who trust in God.  It is a good Scripture to close this devotion.

“1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
8 You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”  Psalm chapter 91.

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