"I wish my husband, who does know the Lord, would take more of a
leadership role in our family Bible readings," a mother of several small children
confided to us. Instead of nagging her husband about it, she turned to God in prayer,
putting her trust in Him. Some time later she began having difficulty with her eyesight,
indeed for several months could not read at all. This necessitated her husband doing the
reading of Scripture. As the Lord graciously restored her eyesight, her husband continued
to read and actively lead the family Bible studies.
Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, David wrote: "Trust in the
Lord" "and do good." The two clauses are related. Doing what is right is a
natural consequence of trusting God. David’s life demonstrates several examples of
Trusting God causes us to do what is right because it Produces
Courage. The young shepherd stared up at a formidable sight: a giant of a man towering
over nine feet in height, his bronze helmet glinting in the sun. His protective scale
armor was some 125 pounds in weight. He was well able to hurl his javelin a compelling
distance or for closer battle could use his spear, the head of which alone weighed 15
pounds. For hand to hand combat a huge sword hung ready. The entire army of Israel was
terrified. The country boy from Judea saw things differently, "This fellow’s
defying the armies of the living God!"
David sums up the odds: "You’ve got a sword, a spear and a
javelin." Impressive. "But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts."
No contest... and David actually runs out to meet him. Within minutes, the giant
lies dead. With a little time warp, imagine a sword, spear and javelin pitted against a
tank equipped with a 105 mm gun. No contest! Or a tank versus a Stealth Bomber carrying an
A-bomb. No contest! How about a Stealth bomber with A-bomb versus Almighty God who made
heaven and earth. Absolutely no contest, for it is the finite versus the Infinite.
David’s appreciation of who God is, very logically, gave him courage. (1 Samuel 17)
Thousands of years before Romans 8:31 was written, David knew the truth
of "If God be for us, who can be against us." God said to Joshua, "Be
strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy
God is with thee." (Joshua 1:9) With courage, he did great things for God. Hebrews
11:32-33: "Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of
Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets who through faith subdued
kingdoms, wrought righteousness." Trust in the Lord and do good. He is the
same God today! Trusting in the Lord gives us courage to do what is right.
Secondly, Trusting God causes us to do what is right because it Precludes
Revenge. King Saul with admiration had seen David defeat Goliath and had promoted him
to a high rank in the army. Admiration, however, changed to jealousy as he saw in David a
threat to his monarchy. Jealousy spawned blind rage, broken promises, unwarranted
demotions, and finally numerous attempts on David’s life. (1 Samuel chapters 16-20)
In a dramatic turn of events, David found himself standing over the
sleeping form of the man who had treated him so unjustly, King Saul himself. Consider the
thoughts that could have flooded David’s mind as he stood there sword in hand: he had
already been anointed of God to be the next king; he was popular with the people and, more
importantly, with the army; he was tired of living a fugitive’s life and here was a
direct short cut to the throne. As David stands over his unconscious enemy, his lieutenant
eagerly offers to do the job. David refuses to harm Saul, saying, "As the Lord
liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die" (1 Sam. 26:9-10)
"Dearly beloved," Romans 12:19 tells us, "avenge not yourselves, but rather
give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the
Lord." The ultimate example of not being vengeful is our Lord Himself, who "when
he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth
righteously." (1 Peter 2:23) Trust in the Lord and do good. Trusting God precludes
Thirdly, Trusting God causes us to do what is right because it Prevents
Worry. David was human, just as we are. After this latest instance of God’s
miraculous protection from the murderous hand of Saul, David has a lapse of faith. "I
shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul:" David says, "there is nothing
better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines."
(1 Samuel 27:1) The man who by trusting God had taken down the Philistine giant; now
allows overwhelming anxiety to actually take him to the Philistines for safety. It
was during this lapse that David married Maacah the daughter of Talmai a heathen king. And
it was from this union that Absalom was born. Surrender to worry cost David dearly. In our
lives also, not trusting God by giving in to worry, can have far-reaching consequences.
Note that it was after a great victory from God that David allowed
worry to overpower him. Elijah too had this experience. In a life and death showdown
against 400 prophets of Baal, God miraculously intervened and sent fire from the sky. (1
Kings 18) Queen Jezebel dispatched a message to him: "By this time tomorrow,
you’ll be dead!" Elijah dropped everything and ran for his life, from northern
Israel to the very southern tip (1 Kings 19). Beware of letting down our guard after times
of great spiritual triumph, when wearily we look at circumstances rather than God.
In fairness to David we should note that typically when stressed he
cast himself on God. It was during a time of major distress that he wrote Psalm 56.
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee... In God I have put my trust; I will
not fear what flesh can do unto me... In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid
what man can do unto me." Trusting God precludes sinning against God through worry.
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God." (John 14:1)
Fourthly, Trusting God causes us to do what is right because it Procures
Joy. 1 Chronicles 13 records David’s ill-advised attempt to return the Ark of God
to Jerusalem on an oxcart. David knew better. God had clearly directed how it should be
carried: "The Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of
the Lord." (Deut. 10:8) After Uzza was slain, David wised up, trusting God that He
meant exactly what He said (1 Chron. 15:2). The result was joy (verse 25).
In Psalm 5:11, David wrote "Let all those that put their trust in
thee rejoice." Psalm 31:6-7, "I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in
thy mercy." David learned, as we must, that God’s wisdom is infinitely greater
than ours and when we trust Him and obey what He has told us in His Word, the result is
joy. Trusting God procures joy.
Finally, Trusting God causes us to do what is right because
trusting the Lord Jesus Christ Provides Salvation. In fact before we can do anything
that is righteous in God’s eyes, we must first trust His Son as Savior, because
"All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6) Trust in the
Lord and do good. The order is important: Trust the Lord then good works follow. Eph. 2:8,
10, "By grace are ye saved through faith...we are his workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus unto good works." Some get this turned around: "Do the best you can, then
trust that you’ll get to heaven." Salvation is totally through faith in Christ
and His finished work on the cross. Thank God that this is so, for we could never
do enough good works to take us to Heaven. 1 John 5:12 is very succinct: "He that
hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Since
salvation is totally the work of God there is total confidence for the future.
"Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid." (Isaiah 12:2) The
one who accepts Christ as Savior, is a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17) and the
natural result is good works. Trusting God causes us to do what is right because it
Trust in the Lord and do good. A living example of the truth of this
statement is a sister in the Lord who is currently going through multiple and very severe
trials. She writes, "I keep a ‘Book of Encouragement’—a daily list of
all the the ways the Lord graciously ministers to me, through His Word and His people. It
is nearly impossible to be down-hearted as I see His hand of love, His assurance of His
presence and constant reminders of His faithfulness. That He loves us is never in
question—He forever sealed that at the cross. So we wait daily for strength and
guidance knowing that He is a good God, and wanting only to bring Him honor in all
Trust in the Lord and do good.