Trusting in God Alone
Yael Eckstein | September 15, 2022
They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you. —Deuteronomy 28:52
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Tavo, which means “when you have entered,” from Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8.
In Judaism, there is a blessing we say after each time we use the bathroom. We thank God for the proper functioning of our body’s system, referring to the pathways and tubes in our bodies. We thank God for keeping them working because, as the blessing states, if any of them were to malfunction, we would be in grave danger.
Our digestive system is just one example of things we take for granted. We trust it to work properly. The same is true of the man-made systems we put in place to keep us safe. We simply expect the steps we take for our own security to keep us safe.
Of course, we are supposed to take these steps. But we must be careful to remember that no matter what we do, only God protects us.
Trusting in God Alone
We see this lesson in this week’s Torah portion. We read, “They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
Why does the verse include the words, “in which you trust”? The verse really doesn’t need those words to make sense, does it? Try reading the verse without those words: “… until the high fortified walls fall down.” Makes sense, right? What’s added by the words “in which you trust”?
When the enemies of Israel succeed in attacking us, it is not punishment for building “high fortified walls.” There’s nothing wrong with building up our defenses. When God punishes Israel, it is for turning their back on Him. The problem isn’t the walls, it’s the fact that we put our trust in the walls, instead of trusting in God alone.
God wants us to do what we need to do to defend ourselves, but we must never let our “walls” fool us into thinking that our efforts alone make us safe. It is trusting in God, and God alone, that protects us.
What do you “trust” to keep you safe? Are there things in life you take for granted? Take a moment of prayer to thank God and remind Him that you put your trust in Him, and Him alone.