Summary: What it means to trust in God.
Perhaps some of you recently received an email similar to the one I received that urged me not to accept any of the new one dollar coins being minted by the U.S. government. The reason? According to the email they no longer contain the words “In God We Trust” which is due to a government conspiracy to phase God out of America. First of all, those emails are just not true. When this new series of coins was introduced the words “In God We Trust” were engraved on the edge of the coins rather than on the face. That has since been changed and the new coins all have the words “In God We Trust” on the face of the coins. It is true that due to a minting error there was a small quantity of coins that did not have the words engraved where they should have been.
But even if that email had been 100% accurate, the much bigger issue is not whether or not our coins say “In God We Trust”, but rather whether people in fact really do that in their lives. I’m pretty sure that most of the people who spent the time to send or forward those emails to everyone on their contact list would have been a whole lot better off to spend that time in God’s Word, getting to know God better so that they could actually be better equipped to trust Him in their day-to-day lives.
The Psalm we’ll examine this morning – Psalm 125 – could easily be titled “In God We Trust”. Let’s read it out loud together.
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
the LORD will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 125:1-5 (ESV)
This morning, I’d like to begin by briefly focusing on why we can trust in God according to this Psalm. But then I want to spend the bulk of our time discussing what it means to trust in God and what that should look like in our day-to-day lives.
WHY WE CAN TRUST IN GOD
1. He protects us (vv. 1-2)
As these Hebrew pilgrims made their way up to Jerusalem, they would have noted the natural defenses of the city, which was surrounded by mountains that helped protect the city against Israel’s enemies. Those mountains were permanent and immovable.
What a great picture of how God protects His people. But because we can’t always see God at work in this way, it’s easy for us to forget that He is often at work in the unseen realm to protect us against our enemies. I’m reminded of the account of Elisha in 2 Kings 6 when the Syrian king and his men surrounded the town of Dothan in order to try and capture Elisha. Let’s pick up the account in verse 15:
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Kings 6:15-17 (ESV)
No matter what we face, those who are with us are more than those who are with our enemies. And that protection is not just temporary. As we see here, and as we’ve seen in many of the previous Psalms of Ascent, God’s protection for His people is in place “from this time forth and forevermore.”
So we can trust in God, first of all because of His constant protection. Secondly, we can trust Him because…
2. He won’t let us experience more than we can handle (v. 3)
In verse 3, the Psalmist writes that the scepter of wickedness won’t remain on God’s people and that the reason for that is that God won’t allow His people to be so overwhelmed by the evil around them that they begin to participate in the sins of the wicked.
Paul expresses this very same principle in the New Testament: