“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent!” These words are from a children’s book by Dr. Seuss called Horton Hatches the Egg, a story you may have read to your kids or grandkids. While it is apparently true that Horton says what he means and means what he says, it is not always true in human relationships. Sometimes we say what we do not mean and sometimes we do not mean what we say. This turns out, is where many relationships go awry.
The heart of the Christian life is faith. Often when we use the word “faith,” we imply a purely intellectual process. In other words, by faith we mean that we have become convinced of the verity of an idea and therefore come to believe it is true. However, the Christian faith is not merely about believing an arbitrary list of ideas, but rather it’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior. When we use the word faith regarding relationships, we are referring to trust. If we have faith in others, we trust that they will do what they say because they meant what they said. Sure, human relationships often let us down; people break our trust by saying one thing and doing another. Sometimes this experience leads us to project our negative experiences in human relationships onto our relationship with God. Faith in the Christian context is not merely about believing that God exists or that Jesus was raised from the dead, both of which are true. It also includes learning to trust in and lean on God, who is always faithful.
In Numbers 22, the king of Moab called upon the prophet Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam went to God, who told him to tell the king of Moab only what God told him to say—that God promised to bless, not curse, Israel. Balaam communicated this to the king of Moab, who in turn asked him to curse just a portion of Israel instead. In response, Balaam told the king about the trustworthy character of God who means what He says.
Numbers 23:19 reminds us that God is not human and therefore He will not let us down. Unlike our human relationships, God is perfect, reliable and consistent. What God says always happens because God always speaks in truth. We can place our faith in God, believing and trusting in His perfect character.
by Pastor Brad Rogers
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19