The Psalmist says it quite well: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
In the troubles and tribulations of this world, there is always the temptation to trust in other things than God. But, God is able to deliver those who trust in Him no matter how great the challenge or danger. Trusting a person comes as a result of the understanding of ability and capability of the person.
There may be situations when God may seem to forsake his people and God’s people may seem to be forsaken by God. But come what may, we need to be courageous and match on. If we feel removed from God, we are surely the one who have moved. What we need is to draw near to God and he will draw near to us (Jas 4:8). We cannot submit to the enemy’s intimidation. We have the assurance of God’s abiding presence. As David put it, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psa. 23:4). Difficulties, trials and challenges are often on the way to “green pastures”. But, no matter how bleak the situation, no matter how empty the feeling comes, do not be afraid; do not be discouraged; keep moving in confidence of the love and backing of God. “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:8).
Reflections on the Bible Readings for Day (Mattins)
In the OT (2Kgs 19:8-19), King Hezekiah was in great danger and turmoil. He received a serious threat message from the dreaded King of Assyria stressing with factual and verifiable instances, the futility and so, senselessness of Hezekiah and Judah trusting in God or any other power against the “all powerful” kings of Assyria. This is the type of situation that triggers high blood pressure and terror and makes it appear very unsafe and irrational to keep trusting God. Hezekiah himself acknowledged the veracity of the claims of Sennacherib “that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them.” (vs 17-18). But he was able to note that those so called gods were not really gods but works of men. There is much difference between powers/seeming powers and the Almighty God. It is the LORD alone who is God and deliverance of those who trust in him in critical predicaments can serve for the demonstration of the power of God. So, Hezekiah was rather drawn to God instead of being dissuaded from him by the prevailing fears and uncertainties.
In the NT (Acts 16:16-end), we find Paul and Silas unjustly and unlawfully detained in prison custody. They were only doing the work of God and had not committed any crime. Their only offence was delivering a human being from the bondage of the evil spirit and the abuse and exploitation of the evil men. These wicked and selfish men instigated others and had Paul and Silas thrown into prison without trial.
No one would like to be in a prison cell. Paul and Silas would have been worried and eager to do one nasty thing or the other to regain their freedom. But they rather entrusted themselves to the care of the Almighty God and went to a midnight session of prayer and hymn singing. God demonstrated his power and metamorphosed the prison cell to a mission field. What God sent them to do out there, they now did in there with great success. They were later set free with dignity. God is great. He is able to deliver those who trust in him.
By the Venerable Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba, FIMC, CMC.
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.