According to my Strong’s concordance, trust is mentioned 131 times in the bible. 104 times in the Old Testament, 50 of those in the book of Psalms alone. Sometimes the trust described is not trustworthy. Like trusting in power other than God to be your salvation. When Hezekiah was king of Judah he had a deal with Egypt that ensured aid from their army and chariots in the event of military conflict.
The LORD rebukes Judah’s trust in Pharaoh and his chariots, “‘Woe to the rebellious children,’ says the LORD, ‘Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be you r humiliation.’” (Is. 30:1-3 NKJV) Judah put their trust in Egypt and themselves above their trust in God. So they counseled with themselves and other world powers to sort out their problems rather than turning to God for direction. The irony being that they turned to the very country that used to enslave them to find salvation.
Don’t we do that too? God delivers us from sin but we keep turning back to it when things get hard. We put the old comforts and habits above God in our trust. God knows that the sin that used to enslave us won’t save us. The sin will likely only enslave us again. Out of love, God warns Judah and us, “Don’t go back! I know it looks like the best option but it’s a trap. Come to Me instead. I was your salvation before and I will be again.”
Judah’s trust in Egypt did bring them shame. In 2 Kings we hear an account of the King of Assyria sending a messenger to Judah to herald their impending doom. This messenger mocks their reliance on Egypt saying that, “You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh King of Egypt to all who trust in him.” (2 Kings 18:21 NKJV) After the threat of attack was delivered, Hezekiah humbled himself before the LORD with prayer and fasting. God saved him from calamity. (2 Kings 19) The story is confirmed by the Prophet Isaiah in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah recounts this encounter and mockery word for word, king Hezekiah’s response, and God’s deliverance in his book as well (Is. 36-37)
In these moments when we are tempted to lean on the old staffs that look trustworthy we need to remember who God is, “We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:5-7 NKJV) When trouble comes we can say “I am the LORD’s.” We can take our troubles to Him and He will save, He will answer, He will send strength. Instead of turning to the old “stablizers” we can remember who God is and put our trust in He who is trustworthy above all other.
I think this is why Psalms has the most mention of trust. It is a book full of struggle and remembrance and praise. God made a promise to be faithful and to send His salvation to His people. All throughout the Psalms and, indeed, the Old Testament, God is reminding His people: remember who I am, remember My promises, I won’t let you down. God doesn’t let them down either. Because after the Old Testament comes the New, and in the New Testament Jesus is revealed. The ultimate salvation for us all.
So I join with Isaiah in declaring, “Behold God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song” (Is. 12:2 NKJV)
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. James Strong. Hendrickson Publishers. Peabody, MA, USA. Page 1079.