One of our missionaries preached a few weeks ago on Isaiah 55. In his sermon, he noted that King Ahaz, during whose reign Isaiah was prophesying, trusted Assyria instead of God to deliver Judah, contrary to the call of the passage to come to God instead. God calls us to trust him no matter our circumstance, so I was wondering how we apply this today, when many of us have refrigerators full of food and healthy retirement accounts. How do we trust God in times of plenty?
Despite our riches, we still encounter situations in which our possessions do not help at all. Like a medical condition or natural disaster, we lack control over many events that affect us. In that case, we have no choice but to turn to God and trust him for the outcome because we are helpless. Think back at your childhood and some potential or actual situation that terrified you. For me, it was probably the fear of breaking a window playing ball (or throwing rocks). In my mind, that was something that could not be remedied. The world may as well end for all the options I’d have should I break a window. Now, all grown up, I obviously know better, but no matter who we are and what we have, there are still hopeless events that require someone greater than us to remedy, and sometimes God sees fit to remind us of our lack of control by putting us in such a situation.
Other circumstances range from the trivial to the merely inconvenient. Most of us do not need to worry about our daily bread. In fact, it would not surprise me if we ate better than even King Solomon did in all his splendor (I doubt he ever had sushi). Many a problem can be fixed easily with enough money in our savings account, like a broken down car or an unexpected home repair. We do not need to run to God if we can just run to our fridge or wallet, so the difference between trusting God and not trusting God may be subtle. My savings account may help me out of a broken window, but in the “trusting God” scenario, I focus on Him, thank Him, realize that He provided the savings account, and accept that He could have done it without. And the next time a similar situation occurs, I don’t run to my savings account, but to God in prayer. In the “not trusting God” scenario, I would skip over God and just write a check.
Even so, one problem still remains for all of us: we are spiritually poor. In the end, even the richest person on earth, with access to the best doctors, multiple houses and other possessions, able to buy just about anything the mind can imagine, is born in spiritual poverty. These poor ones are the kind of people Jesus addresses in his Sermon on the Mount, and these are the ones God addresses in Isaiah 55: The ones who realize they do not have money to buy their own satisfaction, who are invited to listen and come to God instead to receive all riches from him. You cannot come until you see your poverty, turn away from your wickedness, and turn to God in trust. We all must do this, rich or poor, healthy or sick. If we do not, our spiritual debt will come due eventually, and none of our riches here will be enough to settle it. Come to the Savior, trust him and live!