“Judah prevailed because they relied upon the Lord God of their fathers” 2 Chronicles 13:18 KJV
“Judah conquered because they trusted in the LORD, the God of their fathers.” 2Chronicles 13:18 NASB
“And Asa cried … we rest on Thee and in Thy name, we go against this multitude” 2 Chronicles 14:11 KJV
“Then Asa called … we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude.” 2Chronicles 14:11 NASB
The history of the Old Testament is filled with instances of kings, men, and of Israel as a nation trusting in God, relying upon Him when faced with seemingly overwhelming obstacles and opposition. The above two citations tell of King Abijam, not a faithful king, and of King Asa, a godly king. Each went to battle resting in the power of God. They “relied” upon the Lord and He delivered them.
The same word is used by Solomon when he urged his son to “Trust in the Lord … lean not upon thine own understanding” (Prov 3:5). Isaiah used it when, after speaking of the Perfect Servant and His trust, he counseled those who walk in darkness to “trust in the name of the Lord and lean not upon thine own understanding” (Isa 50:10). The track record is clear and consistent: those who trusted were delivered.
Those who failed to trust experienced the fruit of their folly. Abijam, a king who did evil, knew victory. Asa, a king who started well but finished poorly, knew deliverance. Inconsistency and failure on the part of men did not hinder God from responding to trust when it cried out to Him.
There was one seeming exception. The was one Man Who not only began His life with trust, but displayed it consistently, without so much as a moment’s interruption. “I was cast upon Thee from the womb” (Ps 22:10); and at the close of His life, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46).
His was a life of unbroken trust and reliance on His Father God. Thus, the plaintiff cry of Calvary: “Our fathers trusted in Thee; they trusted and Thou didst deliver them. They trusted in Thee and were not confounded” (Ps 22:4, 5). “But” – a stark contrast is now drawn. Here is the only One Who never wavered in His trust. He is the only Man marked by complete and total reliance upon God. But … He was forsaken. There was no “prevailing,” and no “deliverance.”
Add to this, that this was perhaps the most biting and cruelest of the barbs hurled at Christ on the cross: “He trusted in God. Let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him” (Matt 27:43). Without an awareness of the veracity of their words, they struck at the essence of His life. To them it was inconceivable, considering the “fathers,” that anyone who trusted would be forsaken. But at Calvary, the inconceivable became reality – and that because of you and me.
But the Lord’s response is even more remarkable. “Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for My sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for My sake, O God of Israel” (Ps 69:6). He did not want any to stumble, thinking that God would ever again fail to deliver those who trust in Him!
Edith Cherry wrote her hymn “We rest on Thee,” which Jim Elliot and others sang before being martyred, based on these verses.
Two different words are used for expressing confidence in God: “rely” and “trust.” Look at the different places they are employed.
The word “faith” occurs only twice in the Old Testament KJV – although more in the original Hebrew. Note those two locations.