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God is Trustworthy, Part 1
Characteristics of God, God is an Example to Imitate
Before we dive into the story of Abraham in our Bible Essentials study, I want to study another characteristic of God—his trustworthiness. Why did I pick this one? Because in order for Abraham to live his life the way he did, he had to trust God. So this is a vital characteristic for us to understand as we move into Abraham’s story. By understanding God’s trustworthiness, hopefully that will also help us understand our need to trust in God.
After researching God’s trustworthiness, I decided to divide this study into four parts, answering four questions about trust:
The simple answer to today’s question, “What should we trust in?”, is that we should trust in God. God has shown himself to be trustworthy, and we are commanded throughout Scripture to trust in him. But what specifically about God should we trust? First, we’ll look at God and his name as being worthy of our trust. Then, we’ll look at God’s commands and message as being worthy of our trust. Finally, we’ll look at God’s covenant and promises as being worthy of our trust.
God and God’s Name
First, we must establish that God himself, and God’s name as a representation of his identity, is worthy of our trust. If we know God or see him, we will be compelled to put our trust in him. And the more we know God, the more we know we can trust him.
Psalm 9:10: Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 40:3: He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Isaiah 26:4: Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
Sometimes, God is contrasted with idols in his trustworthiness. The comparison shows us that idols are worthless, and God is worthy of our trust.
Psalm 31:6: I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
Other times, the Bible contrasts God’s trustworthiness with trusting in ourselves. Just as with idols, trusting in ourselves, in other people, or in other created things is worthless. As humans, we are so quick to put our trust in something we can see or touch or experience. Because God isn’t obviously visible right in front of us, it tends to be harder to put our trust in him. However, trusting God is always the better choice.
Proverbs 3:5-6: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Psalm 20:7-8: 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
Finally, the Bible commands us to trust in God. If we are going to follow God and believe in him, we must trust him. What good is following a leader if you don’t trust in them? Even more so, what good is following God if you don’t trust him? How likely are you to keep his commands if you don’t trust him? Not very likely. Therefore, trust in God is an essential part of being a Christian.
Psalm 37:3-5: 3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this.
Psalm 62:8: Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
God’s Commands and Message
Throughout the Bible, God speaks to his people to give them commands and to encourage them with messages. The Bible tells us that these commands and messages are true and trustworthy. Because God never changes, any message from God as recorded in Scripture is just as trustworthy now as it was back then.
Psalm 19:7: The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
Psalm 111:7-8: 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
1 Timothy 1:15: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
Revelation 21:5: He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
As believers, we are called to pass on these commands to our children so that they will also trust in God. The greatest mission of a believer is to pass on the word of God to those around us. We want to share the news of God’s trustworthiness rather than keep it to ourselves.
Psalm 78:5-7: 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Titus 1:9: He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
If we believe that God’s word to us is trustworthy, we will teach it to our children and use it to encourage others around us to also trust in him.
God’s Covenant and Promises
When we make promises, we frequently end up breaking them. Not so with God. When God makes promises, he is trustworthy to keep those promises. He will keep them without fail.
Psalm 145:13: 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
Sometimes, God makes a specific promise that he calls a covenant. A covenant is a contract that cannot be broken without penalty. When God makes a covenant with someone, he will not break that covenant. He will keep it forever. We saw that with God’s covenant of the rainbow in the story of Noah. God is still keeping his end of that covenant today. God also made a covenant with Abraham, which we will learn about later this year.
Another covenant that God made was with his people the Israelites, and specifically with the line of David. We see this covenant in 2 Samuel 7:11b-16:
“‘The Lord declares to you [David] that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
In this covenant, we see Jesus foretold. Jesus would come from the line of David, and his throne would be established forever. He would have to take on the sin of the world, and he would be flogged and crucified. But in the end, he will have a throne on the right hand of God that is established forever. David’s response to this covenant can be found a few verses later:
2 Samuel 7:27-28: 27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.”
No matter what the promise or covenant is, if it comes from God, it is trustworthy. We can be secure in the fact that God will fulfill his end of the covenant.
As we read the Bible, we see God’s faithfulness to keep his covenant to send Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins. This really is the point of the Bible. We see God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness displayed. Because we can see evidence of God’s trustworthiness, we know that we can trust him to save us from our sins, just as he promised.
Each individual characteristic of God study will come with two resources: a word search just for fun (including an answer key), and a list of verses for if you want to investigate that individual characteristic of God more completely.
You can access these resources by clicking here: God Is Trustworthy Resources
Or you can download them here: