Our Sunday school class is doing a pick your own bible study for a few weeks, until we can start our advent study. This week’s theme was trusting God with scriptures from Proverbs and Psalms, all the way to 1Timothy. I even took some notes, to help my memory, but am not sure how much I got, since I had to stop to make a few contributions along the way. First was Proverbs 3:5, by itself, which isn’t exactly an entire thought. But our leader had some questions and comments for each verse. This part is all pointing to wisdom, but we had a little bit of discussion on what it might mean to not lean on your own understanding. Part of that is simply to pray, instead of just acting on whatever you are thinking or feeling at a given time. Often it means you may have to give up trying to figure out the whys of life and just accept that God will be with you while you muddle through.
We moved on to Psalm 37:3. First thought here had to do with the fact that there is the word and in there. It’s not like we can trust God and do nothing else. We are called to do good, but only out of our faith, not as a way to gain points with God or something. The result has something to do with dwelling in the land securely or with faithfulness. Our disparate versions were all over the map on the end of the verse, but it’s safe to say that trusting God brings good things into our lives.
Next was Micah 7:5, which is talking about not trusting your neighbor or sometimes even a spouse. The question here was, has God ever let you down like people so often do? Well, one could just say no. However, there are times in our past when we felt otherwise. Usually we found that God failed to act according to our expectations. So we felt let down in the moment and perhaps were able to see some sort of silver lining after some time. In other cases, we just file it with all those things we plan to ask when we get to heaven.
Nahum 1:7 was after Micah, so our complaints about finding it were in vain. It talks about God as our refuge in trouble. My note says the comment was that we should not blame God for trouble. An example was a coworker of one of our members who claims not to believe in God because he let this or that happen. Of course, this person likes to confide in our class member, who wants her to know that she cares only because of God’s work in her life. Again, if I recall correctly, part of the problem was that God did not answer her cries in an audible fashion, but she does not consider other people to be part of His answer. So we were back to the idea of being disappointed because God worked in a way we did not expect.
Next was Matthew 12:21 and here some translations again used a different word than trust, often hope. I’m not sure what version the leader was using. But the point was that the nations would put their trust in Jesus. My RSV and NASB actually use the term Gentiles. So of course we were happy because it was referring to all of us. It must have been really mind blowing for the first century messianic jews to see gentiles flocking to Jesus.
Mark 10:23 warned against trusting in money or the status it gives, to get us into God’s presence. 2Co. 1:9 talks about relying on God instead of ourselves. The question was, has trust in God raised you from the dead? We were all a bit stumped for a minute, but then one person volunteered that, since her whole life is now involved with her faith, even her choice of vocation, it is a very different life from what she might have had if she had continued on her former path. 1Tim. 4:10 wrapped it all up nicely by talking about how we have put our trust in the living God our Savior.