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Can I Trust Him?

Numbers 23:19

 

"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"  (NASB) 

I consider myself to be an honest man. Partly because it is the right thing to be, but also because I agree with Mark Twain who said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."* All in all, honesty really is the best policy.

I'm not alone in thinking that I'm basically an honest person. 2,624 out of nearly 3000 people who took a Reader's Digest poll said they thought the were "basically honest," yet the average respondent admitted to having been dishonest in 5 of the 13 questions they responded to in the survey. For instance, 63% said they had called in sick when they really weren't ill. 77% admitted that they had lied to friends or family members about their appearance so they wouldn't hurt their feelings, and 37% have ed music from an Internet site without paying for it. After taking the survey, one man said, "Answering these questions is making me re-evaluate my honesty." (http://www.freshministry.org/illusrations.html)

Those numbers are startling, and even more so when you stop to consider that some of the people taking the poll may not have been totally honest. I don't mean those who claimed to be dishonest. You can be sure that those who say they lie are telling you the truth. Because if they never lied and told you they did, they would be lying, which would make them exactly what they were confessing to be. So in other words, you can always trust that a person is telling you the truth when they say they are lying. But you can't be so confident in the integrity of a person who claims to be truthful. After all, it wouldn't bother a liar to lie to your face and tell you that he is always truthful, would it? Are you as confused as I am?

Anyway, even if you think you are basically honest, can you say that you've always been totally honest? If I took the Reader's Digest poll and had to answer every question with a "yes" or "no" answer, I would do worse than if I could hedge my answers by saying, "not often," or "only in extreme circumstances" or one I've learned from listening to politicians, "not to my recollection." In other words, I can't claim that I've always been totally honest, can you? Can anyone? Especially when you consider that we can lie without speaking. Mahatma Gandhi said, "To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest."* Do you do everything you say you believe? We can also be dishonest without saying or doing anything. Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The cruelest lies are often told in silence."* If we've never told a lie with our mouth or our actions, perhaps we've told one with our silence.

Diogenes walked around ancient Greece carrying a lantern and searched for an honest man. If he walked through your neighborhood, would he find one? Even people who consider themselves "basically honest" have to admit that there have been times when they've been dishonest. 

The only one who can claim to be "totally honest," not just "basically honest" is God. Our text says, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19 NASB) 

Which brings me to a fundamental question: can you trust God to keep His promises? Joshua 23:14 says, "Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed." (NIV) According to this verse, yes we can trust Him. 

Think about your own life. Does your life show that you trust God? We evidence our trust in God when we trust Him to give eternal life. Titus 1:2 says, "This truth gives them the confidence of eternal life, which God promised them before the world began--and he cannot lie." (NLT) We don't hedge our bet here and say, We'll yes, I'll trust in Jesus, but I'm going to also throw in with Mohammad or Buddha just to be safe. We trust in God for our eternal salvation, without hesitation.

Closely related, we also trust in God for the forgiveness of our sin. Hebrews 8:12 "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (NIV) What a blessed promise. Aren't you glad that God not only forgives you of your sins but that he forgets them too?

How about during times of serve trials, do you trust in God then? Isaiah 43:2 says, "When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you." (NLT) I know that in my darkest days, the most Satan could do was to get my faith to flicker, because he never got it to fail. Have you experienced the same thing? Has your faith sustained you during times of trials. Have you found the words of Isaiah 43:2 to be true? When you went through deep waters and great trouble, was God there with you? Did He keep His promise?

God's promises echo through eternity as trustworthy, because He is the only one who is "totally honest." George Orwell said, "At a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." (http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/04/01/06_spin.html) I'd like to add to Orwell's quote by saying that believing the one who is totally honest is also revolutionary act. I don't know a better recipe for being a world changer then to immerse myself in God's instructions and take Him at His word when He promises something.

In his book, the Name of God's Promises, Mark Tabb writes, "The message of promise is the beginning and end of everything that is included in the Bible. It undergirds every word, sometimes openly, sometimes subtly, but it is always there. God's promises are the common thread that unites the Old and New Testament, the core that makes sixty-six books into one." (P. 15). What would we do without His promises? I believe the promises we've already mentioned, don't you? And I believe the one I'm about to mention too. God promises us He will bless us when we tithe. Malachi 3:10 says, "'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,' says the Lord of hosts, 'if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.'" (NASB) 

If God is "totally truthful" then he will keep all of his promises. Just like we can trust God with our salvation, to forgive us of our sins and be with us during our trials, we can trust Him to keep His word to bless us when we tithe.

Jesus believed it. Listen as I read Mark 12:41-44 "And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. [42] And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. [43] And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; [44] for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.'" (NASB) 

What would you have done if you were collecting the mite from the widow? Would you have said, "That's OK, Mam, you can keep your money, you need it worse that we do? Or would you have believed that God would bless her and take care of her needs? Jesus knew that God would care for her, and He also knew that she needed to give the money more than she needed to keep it-because as she gave, she demonstrated her trust in God.

And today, I ask you do to the same thing-to trust in God to supply your needs and to bless you as you bring your tithe into His storehouse-the local church.

Today, as we extend the invitation, some of you may want to come and pray about this verse and decide if you are going to trust God or not? Others may need to place your trust in Him for the first time and accept Christ as your Savior. Others may need to move their membership into the church. Whatever your decision, will you make it today? As we sing our hymn of invitation, will you come?

*http://quotes.telemanage.ca 

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