Trust Rather Than Test
The biology of humans is very fragile. Any number of things can leave us not feeling well or even kill us. With Psalm 91 being a psalm themed on protection, it is no wonder many people turned to it for guidance and comfort at the start of the pandemic. When a person knows that she or he is under the Lord’s protection, it can bring about an air of invincibility. This feeling comes from a relationship of trust.
Having trust in God in similar to the trust sheep have in their shepherd. Sheep that their shepherd obediently follow and work harmoniously with their shepherd in remaining vigilant for predators. Satan twists the trust we have in God and turns it into testing. Testing God is similar to sheep that still follow their shepherd, but have their face in the grass every step of the way. Instead of helping the shepherd protect them, these sheep are distracted from their shepherd. Thus, when predators come their response is, “Where was my shepherd?” and “Is our shepherd truly among us?”
After the Israelites were led out of Egypt into the wilderness they struggled with a similar doubt. In Exodus 17:2-7, the Israelites became distracted by the hardships of the wilderness and their momentary desire for water. They began longing for the miniscule comforts they had back in Egypt in comparison to the wilderness. This caused them to forget all that God was providing for them and the brutality they faced as slaves in Egypt. Forgetting about God and all that He does for His children is when our faith easily turns to doubt and a desire for proof of God’s love for us. As children of God we need to do our part in maintaining our faith and trust in Him. Hebrews 11:26 explains that Moses saw a life of hardship with Christ as more valuable than the treasures of Egypt. The reason for this is because he always looked forward with faith. The Israelites in Exodus 17:2-7 began to look at the hardships around them and the life that was behind them instead of faithfully walking forward with God.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 illuminates that the forward momentum can be lost when we focus on the people to the left or right of us rather than God. Verse twelve states, “make it your ambition to live a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.” (ESV) The danger can also be that we focus on other people before ourselves. Romans 2:6 says that each individual will be judged by God according to their own deeds. Before we attempt to confront others about their walk with Christ, let us first reflect and make sure that we are walking as the faithful sheep we are called to be.