Commit your way to YHWH, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 (Hebrew text)
Trust – First I must accept the seal of ownership. God rolls over my path. Now it belongs to Him. Then I must act according to the directions of the new owner. Batach is the verb of confidence. It expresses the feeling of security in someone or something. To trust God is to confidently rely on Him. This, of course, is seen in the actions of the faithful. They do not put their confidence in the house (family), weapons, other men, temples, idols or even themselves. The only exception to this caution is Proverbs 31:11. Husbands are to trust their wives in the same way that they trust God. But most of the occurrences of batach involve the admonition to “Trust in YHWH,” although surprisingly there are very few instances where Scripture indicates someone actually does trust in the Most High. Perhaps that’s why the life of Yeshua is so exceptional.
What does it mean to place my confidence in YHWH? No better example, other than the Messiah, can be found than Abraham. Abraham responds to the call of God without hesitation even though he is not given any destination. He acts on the word of the Lord. He is obedient in spite of the lack of explanation or justification. In fact, the instances in Abraham’s life which reveal him to be a man of faults and failures just like the rest of us are all instances where he doubted the reliability of God’s promise and determined to take action without divine counsel. Nevertheless, Abraham demonstrates a life of confident reliance on God’s promise, even at the point where it appears that the promise will be snatched away from him.
We are all sons and daughters of Abraham, and we will all face the same call to put our confidence in His word in spite of circumstances to the contrary. No man escapes the test of faith passed down to us by our father Abraham. It is embedded in the spiritual DNA.
We are often taught that Yeshua fulfilled His mission knowing full well that God would rescue Him from the grave. But I’m not so sure that we can understand Yeshua’s example of perfect trust if the end is inevitably predetermined. Trust presupposes that there is the possibility of doubt. I do not trust that 4 + 4 = 8. Of that I am absolutely certain. But I do trust that the justice of the Lord will prevail because there exists observable evidence to the contrary. Trust only makes sense where it is possible for me to imagine a lack of confidence. For this reason, trust is a willful decision, an active verb of voluntary submission. Things might be otherwise, and yet I act as if they will not be. When I put my whole life in His hands, I do not erase the possibility of doubt. I simply refuse to accept it as real.
Topical Index: trust, batach, confidence, doubt, Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 31:11