Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Psalms 74:12 But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth.
There’s a special relationship between the flyer and the catcher during a circus trapeze act. In case it’s not obvious, the flyer is the one that lets go, and the catcher is the one that catches. As the flyer swings high above the crowd on the trapeze, the moment comes when he must let go. He arcs out into the air. His job is to remain as still as possible and wait for the strong hands of the catcher to pluck him from the air. The flyer must never try to catch the catcher. The flyer must wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him, but he must wait.
I remember playing with my boys when they were little, throwing them in the air and catching them just before they hit the ground. They would giggle with delight and say, “Again! Do it again!” They were totally relaxed and trusted me to catch them. As I would do this, my thoughts were, “If I were the one being thrown in the air, I‘d be stiff as a board. I wonder why my son is so relaxed and trusting?”
Then it dawned on me – we had a history together. We had done this before, and I had never failed to catch him.
Trust is earned. We live within that template. Any confidence we place in a person or thing is based on previous experience. Blind trust is difficult at least and impossible for most. God created us that way, and he has created a history with us so that we can trust Him.
Psalm 74 is the historical template of Israel’s trust. While the enemies of God march against the nation and have defiled and decimated the temple, the Psalmist reminds the people of their history with God. Look at the symbolism of verses 13-17.
- It was you who split open the sea by your power… Here is a reference to the parting of the Red Sea as Israel escaped from Egypt.
- You broke the heads of the monster in the waters. The monster is the Egyptian army, and they were destroyed in the Red Sea.
- It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert. As the bodies of the dead Egyptians washed up on shore they became food for the creatures of the land.
- It was you who opened up springs and streams; God provided water from a rock for the people as they traveled through the wilderness. You dried up the ever flowing rivers. The Jordan River was dried up so they could enter the Promised Land. The day is yours, and yours also the night; God led them with a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night.
- It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; God gave them their inheritance in the Promised Land even though it was already occupied by others.
- You made both summer and winter. They had never lived anywhere except where it was summer all the time. Now they were occupying and dwelling in a land that had summer and winter. It was their new and permanent home.
When times got tough in their new land, their trust wavered. They felt like they had been dropped. They stiffened up and wanted the game to be over. They needed a reminder from history that God would not fail them.
We need the same reminders. When we read God’s Word we discover God’s template of trust. His nature and character are revealed, and because He is unchanging and constant, what He did for others He will do for us as well. His methods may change from generation to generation and from person to person, but His faithfulness can never change. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
In addition to the Biblical record of God’s trustworthiness, you have a personal history with God as well. He has worked on you and in you since you received His Son Jesus as your Savior. He has done great things in your life, and has filled you with the hope of glory that surpasses any and all trials and troubles of this life.
Take some time today to recall God’s awesome works in your life. It is your template of trust.
Reflect on it.
Repeat it to your family and friends.
Then, no matter what your circumstances, you will be able to say – But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth.