A Lesson In Trusting God

It is written:

“Do any of you have a son? If he asked for bread, would you give him a rock? 10  Or if he asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? Of course not! 11  You people are so bad, but you still know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:9-11 ERV)

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus teaches us that God is trustworthy. It is important to realize wen we pray that God is a good and loving God, One Who will not trick us or have a desire to be cruel towards us. The imagery that Jesus uses here teaches us this lesson:

“Jesus’ examples are carefully chosen. He takes three examples, for Luke adds a third to the two Matthew gives. If a son asks for bread, will his father give him a stone? If a son asks for a fish, will his father give him a serpent? If a son asks for an egg, will his father give him a scorpion? (Luke 11: 12). The point is that in each case the two things cited bear a close resemblance. The little, round, limestone stones on the seashore were exactly the shape and the colour of little loaves. If a child asks for bread, will a parent mock that child by offering a stone, which looks like bread but which is impossible to eat? If a child asks for a fish, will a parent give that child a serpent? Almost certainly, the serpent is an eel. According to the Jewish food laws, an eel could not be eaten, because an eel was an unclean fish. ‘Everything in the waters that does not have fins and scales is detestable to you’ (Leviticus 11: 12). That regulation ruled out the eel as an article of diet. If a child asks for a fish, will a parent indeed give that child a fish, but a fish which it is forbidden to eat, and which is useless to eat? Would a parent mock a child’s hunger like that? If the child asks for an egg, will the parent give that child a scorpion? The scorpion is a dangerous little animal. In action it is rather like a small lobster, with claws with which it clutches its victim. Its sting is in its tail, and it brings its tail up over its back to strike its victim. The sting can be exceedingly painful, and sometimes even fatal. When the scorpion is at rest, its claws and tail are folded in; and there is a pale kind of scorpion, which, when folded up, would look exactly like an egg. If a child asks for an egg, will a parent mock that child by offering that child a stinging scorpion? God will never refuse our prayers; and God will never mock our prayers. The Greeks had their stories about the gods who answered people’s prayers, but the answer was an answer with a barb in it, a double-edged gift. Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, fell in love with Tithonus, a mortal youth, so the Greek story ran. Zeus, the king of the gods, offered her any gift that she might choose for her mortal lover. Aurora very naturally chose that Tithonus might live forever, but she had forgotten to ask that Tithonus might remain forever young; and so Tithonus grew older and older and older, and could never die, and the gift became a curse. There is a lesson here: God will always answer our prayers; but he will answer them in his way, and his way will be the way of perfect wisdom and of perfect love. Often, if he answered our prayers as we at the moment desired, it would be the worst thing possible for us, for in our ignorance we often ask for gifts which would be our ruin. This saying of Jesus tells us not only that God will answer, but also that God will answer in wisdom and in love.” (William Barclay, The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel Of Matthew, Volume One, 4915-4938 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England; Saint Andrew Press)

Dear soul, you can trust the Lord. He is good, and He does good (Psalm 119:68). Look to the Lord Who is good to His entire creation (Matthew 5:44-45). Why not repent of your sins and as a believer in Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 17:30-31) and become one of His children by being clothed with Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:26-27)?

Or if you have wandered away from the good Lord, isn’t it time to return to Him in repentance and prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9)?

Jesus lovingly calls you Home, and we are ready to assist you in any way that we can.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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