Devotion 61

If you have no trust in the Messenger, how can you trust the Message?

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look up at the sky, and count the stars — if you can count them! Your descendants will be that many!” He believed in Adonai, and He credited it to him as righteousness. In this passage from Genesis 15:5,6, we are led to an understanding of Avraham’s trust in Yahweh, the Sovereign God. All through Scripture we are led to the understanding: We can trust the message of God because we trust God. Can we say that about anyone else but Adonai Elohim/Adonai Yeshua? Certainly not!

Time-after-time we have been disappointed by the mercurial promises of human beings – politicians, at all levels of leadership, friends, even loved ones have made promises to us, which have proved to be hollow. Only Yahweh’s promises have stood up to the test of time.

But what happens, if we don’t trust our Beloved Abba, the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our souls? Scientific research has clearly shown us that our trust of the message depends, in large part, in our trust of the messenger. For example, Fullam and Barber (2007) claim, “In real life, the trust assigned to a message depends crucially, albeit not solely, on the perceived trustworthiness of its source.” And we witness this today. There are world leaders some despise and no matter what they say they are not trusted; there are others who could spout-out nonsense and they would be believed, simply because they are trusted.

But is trust in Yahweh any different? Does He have a ‘track-record’ of truth-telling which may be believed? And, for that matter, does He require a track-record of trustworthiness to be trusted? These are most important questions and need to be addressed at some level, if not the deepest. So, let’s begin.

Does Yahweh, our Beloved Abba, have a reasonable track record, regarding His Word to us?  Let’s examine the evidence. Many of His Divine prophetic statements made may be found in the writings of the prophet Isaiah. For example, in Isaiah 44:24,27-28, we read: This is what Yahweh says, . . . ‘the One saying to the deep waters, “Be evaporated, and I will dry up all your rivers”; the One saying of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd, and he will completely carry out all my will”; the One saying of Jerusalem, “She will be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Your foundation will be laid. Archaeological evidence and historical record detail the Greek Emperor Cyrus diverted the Euphrates River, which flowed into Babylon, in order for his troops to successfully invade the City State. As we know, from the writings of Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel, it was Cyrus who allowed the Jewish captives to return to Jerusalem to rebuild both the city and the Temple, beginning in 598/597 BCE. Associated with the preceding prophecy and an explanation of how relatively easy it was for Cyrus to successfully invade the heavily gated city, in Isaiah 45:1 we find: This is what Yahweh says to his anointed one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut. Again, historical record indicates, the gates to the city were inadvertently not shut, just prior to the Greek invasion, allowing Cyrus’s troops to just walk into the city.

All-in-all, there are over a thousand prophecies uttered by Yahweh, through His prophets.  All but a few, which speak of events yet to occur, have come to pass. This gives some major degree of certainty that Yahweh’s track record of truth-telling may be believed. To ascertain this for yourself, please ‘google’ your question.

To the second issue, Does God require a track-record of trustworthiness to be trusted, the answer lies in our degree of faith (trust-in-action). Let’s take a different approach here. First, is there any reason for our conclusion that God is not trustworthy, that He does not deliver what He has promised? Many read Scripture and find promises made by God, which have not come to fruition, claiming this is sufficient reason not to trust God. However, these people invariably demand God fulfill His promises in their time frame, not His. If He is the promise maker, shouldn’t He decide when His promises will be fulfilled?

Take, for example, the promise made in Isaiah 11:6 – The wolf will live with the lamb; the leopard lie down with the kid; calf, young lion and fattened lamb together, with a little child to lead them. Because this promise has not appeared prior to our lifetime, many claim it proves God is a liar. My Rabbinic Jewish brethren claim that since this has not yet been fulfilled, it proves the promise about the Messiah is a lie.  Both of these positions stem from two errors: 1. A shallow understanding of Isaiah in context, and 2. An assumption of God’s timing being in sync with our timing. However, if we look at Isaiah 11, verses 1 to 5, we find the context of Isaiah 11:6, namely – But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots.  The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai — he will be inspired by fearing Adonai. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear,  but he will judge the impoverished justly; he will decide fairly for the humble of the land. He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips.  Justice will be the belt around his waist, faithfulness the sash around his hips.  Examining these passages carefully, we find this portion of Isaiah is speaking about the coming of Messiah. Note the break following verse 2 and beginning verse 3 – he will be inspired by fearing Adonai. We now move to a different time period, a time when Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, will return to earth as the Righteous Judge and will separate the tares from the wheat, as prophesised in Matthew 13.  His second coming is also prophesised in Zechariah 14:1-21 and in Revelation 1.  From Isaiah, Rabbinic Jewish scholars have determined there are two messiahs – Mashiach ben Yosef, the suffering servant, and Mashiach ben David, the conquering king. What they have failed to recognize, either deliberately or through lack of understanding, was not the coming of two messiahs but One Messiah twice, once as the heralder of Yahweh’s Kingdom on earth and the initiation of the Renewed Covenant, through the shedding of His blood, and then, later, as the Righteous Judge of all human beings. Clearly, Rabbinic Judaism often focuses on, even yearns for, the coming of HaMashiach, the Messiah. However, as a result of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people by ‘Christians’ over time, beginning in the latter part of the 1st Century, there has been an understandable reluctance to recognize the ‘Christian Jesus’ as the Messiah. Thus, the Jewish messiah has been cast as a human being, a conquering king, with supernatural powers, not the Son of God.

Inevitably, irrespective of what arguments are offered, those who are inclined to believe God exists and that His promises are real and true will accept His invitation and open the door to His Love and those who are not inclined, will not. However, there is an adage, which has passed the test of time – There are no atheists in a foxhole.  We never will know who has accepted Yahweh, through Adonai Yeshua, on their death-bed, until we ourselves meet them.

CONSIDER: Are you unsure as to the existence and reality of God? What would you need to be sure of His Truth? Everything you actually need may be found in His Word, from Genesis to Revelation.

ACTION: I suggest you begin reading the Psalms and Proverbs, from the TaNaKh, the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), and the Book of John, from the Apostolic Scriptures (the New Testament). From these readings there may be many questions for you to research.

PRAY: If you are unsure of the existence of God and are open to knowing Him, I urge you to pray the following: Dear God, I don’t know if you exist, but I am ready to explore the possibility of your existence. As I read through your Word, help me to clearly see – without any doubt – that You are the unique/true almighty messenger and message. Amen

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.