Who Do You Trust?

The small boy and his brother eyed the beautiful silver-leaf maple tree with great interest. The smooth silver trunk provided an ideal target for two fledgling knife throwers. Although this particular tree happened to be their Dad’s very favorite, and one in which he took enormous pride, the temptation to throw the knife was irresistible. Neither of the young men seemed concerned that the knife left large ugly cuts in the trunk of the tree. However, their Dad quickly noticed the scars. Justice was swift and severe. The Father was so upset that he ripped off his belt and grabbed the younger brother and began to flail away. For some reason, he stopped to ask the older boy if he had been involved in the crime also. The big brother was so fearful of getting the whipping that he lied to his dad and said “no”. What seemed to be a moment of respite for big brother turned out to be a shameful memory that continues to haunt him.

I must confess that I am that big brother. Moreover, I have reflected on that incident in my life many, many, times over the years. Even today, that particular memory bludgeons me unmercifully with stripes of great guilt and remorse. Just as I could not remove the scars, my brother and I put into that beautiful tree; even so, I remain unable to escape the consequences of that lie of so long ago.

Dad was relentless in his quest to teach his sons that a man is only as good as his word. He would have no truck with liars. As I grew older, I learned a bitter lesson. My own Father told lies occasionally. He did not do so with great regularity or purposefully. However, he lied just the same. My Mother, my brother and my sisters had moral lapse also- and lied. Indeed, every person that I knew through the intervening years experienced moments of great weakness, which resulted in the sin of lying. Upon whom was I to rely to speak the truth without fail? I learned that every man is a liar but God is truth.

The truth uttered by Jeremiah is just as true today.

He said: “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23.) Truly, man needs the help of Almighty God to walk in the truth. What is truth? Pilate asked that great question. Whether it is in meeting the problems of everyday life or in preparing for a home after death we need the truth. God gives this truth in his written word. There is no other way to ascertain it.

Is God’s word reliable? I am compelled to affirm the truthfulness of the Word of God. Paul said to Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (IITimothy 3:16, 17). What is inspiration? Literally, inspiration means that the Scriptures are “God-breathed”. Every word of every sentence is flooded with the presence of God.

The Apostle Peter wrote: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1: 20-21). Moreover, it seems highly unlikely that God the Father would collaborate with man to reveal Himself to the world and subsequently allow the human partner to tell a lie about Him. J. W. McGarvey gives an illustration to show how the inspired writers were under the complete control of the Spirit of God while at the same time maintaining their own diction and characteristics. He says, “It would be nearer the truth to compare the whole work of the Spirit to that of driving a well trained horse. You draw the lines to the right or the left as you see that the horse needs guidance; you check him when he would go too fast, and urge him forward when he would go too slow; but he usually keeps the road and maintains the desired gait and speed of his own accord; st ill your hand is ever on the lines, and its pressure on the bit is constantly felt, so that you are controlling the horse’s movements when he is going most completely at his own will, Indeed, the horse is all the time going very much of his own will, and yet he is never without the control of the driver.”

Because we believe in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures we stand in agreement with the statement “We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction: that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.” ARTICLE I- NEW HAMPSHIE CONFESSIONS (1833)

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