A CRISIS OF TRUST
|Behold how good|
|and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!|
|– Revised Standard Version|
|How wonderful it is, how pleasant,|
|for God’s people to live together in harmony!|
|– Good News Translation|
|How good, how delightful it is|
|for all to live together like brothers.|
|– The Jerusalem Bible|
Is there anything more desirable than for people to live together as described in Psalm 133:1? I know of no greater happiness than to be in the company of trusted and trusting friends—all working for the best good of everyone else, no jealousy or suspicion, everyone placing the kindest possible interpretation upon one another’s actions and words.
Such unity and goodwill can exist only where there is complete trust and trustworthiness, mutual love and respect.
But the Bible pictures the whole human race as caught up in a great web of distrust. It is all part of the universe-wide crisis of trust that centers around the questioning of the trustworthiness of God himself.
Our infinite God has been accused of untrustworthiness. But God has answered this accusation. And the way he has met the charge is the most convincing evidence of his utter worthiness of our faith.
The Bible is a record of the long and costly demonstration of the trustworthiness of God. If trust could be produced by claims or exhortation, the Bible would be a very different book. But claims of trustworthiness are worth no more than the trustworthiness of the one making them. Thus even when a person has been falsely accused, mere claims or denials prove nothing. Only by the demonstration of trustworthiness over a long period of time and under a variety of circumstances can trustworthiness be convincingly established.
The Bible is generally understood as dealing primarily with God’s plan to save sinners. This is certainly included. But a far larger issue is dealt with on the pages of Scripture—the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the Creator himself. The question, Can God be trusted? has been raised in the hearing of the whole onlooking universe. God’s answer is as much for them as for us.
This book briefly considers the issues and answers in the great controversy over the character of God. Gracious and convincing teacher that he is, God invites us openly to examine the evidence, to study the entire record—all sixty-six books of the Bible—and judge for ourselves if the truth is on his side and if we find him worthy of our trust.
The Bible speaks of a special unity that exists among those who have been won back to faith in God. Trusting and admiring the same God, they find that they are able to trust and respect each other. And thus they begin to experience “how wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony!”