Theme: Trust in God Only
In this week’s lessons, we see that this psalm reminds us of the need to trust and praise God always.
Scripture: Psalm 118:6, 8, 9, 17, 27-29
The second passage I call to your attention consists of two verses, verses 8 and 9. And this is why. It is reported by people who count such things that there are 31,174 verses in the Bible, and if that is so, then these verses, the 15,587th and the 15,588th, are the middle verses. That should be reason enough to give them prominence.
What do you suppose a middle or central verse should say? Shouldn’t the middle verse of the Bible be John 3:16, or its equivalent? Or something from Psalm 23? At least it should be about God’s love, perhaps “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Actually, the middle verses of the Bible are none of these or anything else we might naturally expect, though in their simplicity they are of great importance. Significantly, they are about putting our trust in God rather than in mere human beings.
Why it is better to trust in God rather than man? In his massive study of the psalms, Charles Haddon Spurgeon gives five answers. First, it is “wiser.” God can be trusted; man cannot. Second, it is “morally better.” God tells us to trust him, teaching at the same time that mere human beings are corrupt, selfish and untrustworthy. Third, it is “safer.” It is dangerous to trust those who are disposed to let us down, for they will certainly do it. Fourth, it is better “in its effect upon ourselves.” We grow in faith and character when we trust God, not when we place that same kind of trust in other people. Fifth, it is better “as far as its results are concerned.” God honors our trust by blessing it broadly.1
The world does not understand this, of course. But this is not surprising since the world is blind in spiritual matters. Martin Luther said that when his great friend and protector Duke Frederick of Saxony was alive (1486-1525) his enemies taunted him, saying, “Luther’s heresy is dependent on two eyes; when those are closed, his heresy will die.” They meant that it was only the power and protection of Frederick that preserved the Reformation. But Frederick died, Luther lived, and the doctrines that Luther recovered and taught are powerful today. “The work continues and, please God, will continue even better until the end,” wrote Luther.2
1Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 3a, Psalms 88-119 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1966), p. 104.
2Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 14, Selected Psalms III, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and Daniel E. Poellot (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958), p. 67.
What is significant about the middle verses in the Bible?
Name the five reasons Spurgeon gives for trusting God rather than people. Why can’t the world understand this?
How does God honor our trust?
Reflection: Why might we sometimes trust in people rather than in God? Can you think of times when you have trusted in people, but they let you down? How can God better watch over you in light of each of the five reasons for trusting him?
Key Point: God honors our trust by blessing it broadly.