Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Trust is based upon a track record

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”  1 Kings 17:1If I tell you I’m going to something and then I don’t do it - and I do that again and again and again – are you going to trust me? Of course not. But if I tell you that I’m going to do something and then that’s exactly what I do - and I do that often enough – you’ll be likely to trust that I’ll do what I say… even if you don’t like what I tell you I’m going to do.
Yesterday we learned that Ahab was a wicked king and a wicked man, because he trusted in the wrong things.  God wants Ahab to trust him. So He sends Elijah with this basic message of some strong consequences for Ahab: “Trust me on this I’m going to make life VERY uncomfortable for you.  Until Elijah comes to you again, there will be no rain nor dew on the land.” 1 Kings 17:1
Every year farmers watch anxiously to see how much rain will fall on crops.  If there’s too much, the crops drown.  If there’s too little, some of those crops dry up and die.  BUT if there’s no rain at all… ALL the crops will die. The book of James tells us that “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.” James 5:17
Three and a half years without rain is a looooong time.  Three ½ years of drought is enough to turn a paradise into a wasteland.  Three ½ years of dryness can make men and kings desperate enough to do anything to change the weather… even kill a prophet. So, God sent Elijah into hiding.
Ahab didn’t trust God and there were huge consequences, not just affecting him, but lots of other people too.  It is hard to trust God sometimes when there are people standing in front of you offering what you need, sometimes literally putting it in your hand.  But the help they are providing is temporary and there may be massive consequences.  So why don’t we just have the self-control to say no to the wrong people and things and trust God? There are several reasons why people end up not trusting God or His word:
·      Sometimes, people refuse to trust God’s Word, because they want a God they can understand. If they can’t understand something abonout Him it can’t be true. They want their God to be able to fit into their small box. They put walls around Him and tell Him – you can’t exist outside of this.
·      Other times people refuse to trust God and His Word because (like King Ahab) they’ve listened to the wrong people. They’ve spent time with skeptics and scoffers who have made them ashamed of their faith and doubt their God.
·      Other times people refuse to trust God’s Word because they’ve been hurt. God didn’t help them like they wanted Him to when they needed it, and because of that incident(s) they turn their back on God.
·      Still other people refuse to trust God’s Word because they’re into sin. They’ve done things they shouldn’t do and because God’s Word condemns their particular behavior or lifestyle they try to disarm God. They try to blunt his right to judge them. because IF God’s Word is wrong on something they can ignore it as being unreliable in all things.
King Ahab didn’t trust the God of Israel but turned in trust to other gods… and suffered for it. If you can’t trust God you gotta trust something. SOMETHING has to step in where God has been thrown out. Without God the only standard of TRUST - of right and wrong - is what appeals to you and that’s a dangerous way to live.
Scripture to Claim: 
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! Psalm 40:4 ESV 

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