Shall i trust in God or in man?

   Written by on February 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm

logo-hevenerOver the centuries, the morally fallen nature of mankind does not change.  How often do we humans living in the twenty-first century wish to follow our desires, our ways, and ignore the instruction provided by God, our Creator, in His word, the Bible?

Why are we humans hesitant to put our full trust in our Creator, who sustains us by the miracle of life, moment by moment?  I read recently of an elderly gentleman who was apprehensive about his first airplane ride.  When he returned to the ground, his friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. “Well,” he commented, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but I’ll tell you this. I never did put my full weight down!”   As Christians, are we afraid to put our full trust in God’s promises of love, protection, and direction?  (Deuteronomy 31:6.)

Gideon was a judge in Israel, which had turned away from God’s values and had taken up idol worship.  We may think that we do not have idols today, but, remember, anything that we allow to come between us and God is an idol, a false god.

As is the pattern throughout the Book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from Jehovah after forty years of peace brought by Deborah’s leadership and faithfulness to God. At this time of apostasy, God chose Gideon, a young man, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their idolatry.  Gideon requested proof of God’s will by three miracles, which God provided.  Gideon began his leadership by destroying the nation’s altars to false gods.

God instructed Gideon to prepare for battle against the Midianites.  Gideon called for soldiers, but God told him that there were too many, most of whom were not dedicated to obeying God; therefore, God told Gideon to reduce his army to 300 dedicated men.  God wanted to show Gideon that the victory which Israel would enjoy would be brought about by God, not by a large army of men.

During the night God instructed Gideon to approach the Midianite camp. Gideon returned to the Israelite camp and gave each of his men a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch hidden inside. Divided into three companies, Gideon and the three hundred marched on the enemy camp. He instructed them to blow the trumpet, give a battle cry and light torches, simulating an attack by a large force. As they did so, the Midianite army fled in fear! (Judges 7:17–22).

After this victory, the Israelites pleaded with Gideon to be their king, but he refused, telling them that only God was their ruler. There was peace in Israel for forty years during the life of Gideon. As soon as Gideon died of old age, the Israelites again turned to worship the false god Baal-Berith and ignored the lessons taught to them by God through the faithfulness of Gideon.

What are some of the universal lessons that we can learn from Gideon’s experience?

We should trust the guidance of God, for He is all-knowing and all-powerful.

We should pray for the heavenly guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we face the challenges of daily life.

We should not trust our own human power when being tempted by Satan, but we should follow God’s instruction, His Word, to be our light that directs our personal pathway in life.

Remember, only God can give us ultimate victory over eternal death, through his Son Jesus Christ.

When our lack of faith questions God’s instructions and promises, we are leaving our role as the created and attempting to become the Creator.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

Dr. Fillmer Hevener is Pastor and founder of Guthrie Memorial Chapel, a Christian congregation, 2663 Cumberland Road, Farmville, Va.  In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he is a writer, retired professor, researcher, business-person, and former missionary to Uganda, Africa.  He may be reached at (434) 392-6255; fhevener@oilart.com; www.guthriememorial.com.

© Fillmer Hevener, 2016

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