Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him. When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine. To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
For more information on this, read this article.
BTH in the Qal Perfect
Our next root, lemma or stem is BTH or BATAH. Its root meaning is “to trust,” “to throw one’s cares on someone,” hence “to lean upon,” or “to confide in.” [Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 98 (Vol. 98, Page 497). Dallas Theological Seminary.] The first use category we’ll look at is verbal, of which the first category is the active voice conjugation. In the active voice, the subject of the action produces the action. The first of these is the Qal, the simplest of the Hebrew tenses. In the Qal, BTH means to trust, rely on, put confidence in, i.e., believe in a person or object to the point of reliance upon. Under this is the Qal perfect, which indicates completed action. So, this first passage illustrates use of the lemma BTH as a verb in the Qal active voice, in the perfect tense. This first passage well illustrates the concept of “trust,” and “reliance upon.” The entire passage illustrates it well:
He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. 2 Kings 18:5
The word “trust” characterized King Hezekiah, who was one of the most honorable kings of Judah. The object of his trust was the Lord, God of Israel. This meant that he relied upon Him totally for every aspect of his leadership. One demonstration of that trust was his destruction of every remnant of idol worship in the land. So intent was he to destroy any semblance of idol worship that he even destroyed the bronze serpent that Moses had made. The people were evidently offering incense to it. This just goes to show, on one hand, how faithful
Hezekiah was to the Lord, not fearing any reprisal from such destruction and on the other just how fickle the people were and how they misunderstood the Lord.
The perfect tense indicates that the action of Hezekiah’s trust was accomplished or fulfilled. He had the faith creating doctrine in his soul making his trust in the Lord a reality even despite his circumstances. Later in Hezekiah’s reign, Assyria threatened Judah. The people justly deserved discipline, but because of Hezekiah’s trust, the Lord delivered Judah. This passage well illustrates the principle of BATAH, because he literally presented his care of Israel to the Lord in light of the threat and rested in the Lord’s promise of deliverance.
You may remember the Assyrian agent Rabshakah challenging Hezekiah’s trust in the Lord. We’ll be taking up more of this story in a moment to illustrate another use of BTH.
BTH in the Qal Passive Participial
Now, let’s continue with the Qal passive participial of BTH. The passive voice, again, means that the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb. So the subject receives the action of the verb. This is the adjectival use of the participle which means “confident,” or “trusting,” i.e., pertaining to placing reliance in a person or object. Our passage is Psalm 112:7:
He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7
In this passage the Psalmist lists five blessings that the Lord bestows upon the person whose priority in life is knowing Him. The previous verses list physical and material prosperity, doctrinal enlightenment (if your priority is learning to love the Lord, He will provide you with a pastor who will lead you there), comfort in times of pressure (He will not give you a life without pressure or adversity, but comfort. Comfort is the assurance that the pressure you are undergoing is within God’s will and for your benefit.), capacity for generosity, discernment of justice, and here, lack of fear because of trust in the Lord.
What are the mechanics of this dynamic? Trusting in the Lord is not an automatic result from belief in Christ, but only comes with the day by day building up of doctrine in your soul. Our sin nature natural tendency is only to place trust in those things that we see or sense physically. This is where faith comes in. As you get to know the Lord from doctrine, what you see pales in comparison to what you know of Him from doctrine. As you build capacity from epignosis knowledge of Him, any fear is pushed out of your soul because of your love for Him. Fear and love cannot reside in the same soul. Virtue love pushes out fear:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
The fear in this verse can refer to any type of fear, from fear of your circumstances, from bad news and how it might affect you to fear related to peer pressure in social situations.
This next use of BTH is again the Qal passive participle but it is an absolute construction which means that syntactically, the participial phrase can be dropped without harming the sentence structure. Its removal doesn’t harm the sentence structure but it would remove the key to having perfect peace!
Whose mind is set on You, You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
Again, to trust in God is to be in a mental state whereby you don’t question His plan for your life, even on a day-to-day basis. I have recently viewed the film, “Gods and Generals” the first of a Civil War Trilogy by Turner Films. It wonderfully illustrates this principle in the life of Gen. TJ Jackson of the Confederacy. One of his adjutants asked him how he could be so fearless in the heat of battle with bullets flying around. He replied something to the effect that the Lord could take him just as easily in bed as He could in battle. You don’t question His provision for you but rely upon it totally.
Just how do you arrive to this point in your thinking? You must study the Word of God daily while under the filling of the ministry of the Spirit. In this way, your thinking will slowly change from that which you were born with, that you gained from your education and culture to that of God. He has a structure of thought for you by which He blesses you and you fulfill His plan for your life. That plan is characterized by the concept of trust in Him, totally reliance upon Him. This thought structure is more than likely contrary to the popular cultural thought, even if the country you were raised in was founded upon Christian principles!
So, the lesson we learn from this use of BTH is that trusting in God is a mental activity that results from changing your thinking. It is impossible apart from the teaching of the Word of God while in the state of spirituality. Don’t expect to have your thinking changed and being able to fulfill trust in Him at the drop of the hat! It is a day by day exercise! The dividends from trust in God are absolutely fantastic: Total assurance that your life has meaning, and that you are following His plan for your life.