When studying speech errors, linguists often look for similar sounds (ask vs. axe, or nuclear pronounced as ‘nucular,’). Some errors affect both sound and meaning. A person says, “If you axe me…, ” for example, and gruesome violence comes to mind. Better meanings arise, though, if they complain of being ‘taken for granite’ (instead of granted). Being mistaken for rock, though, actually isn’t so bad.
American builders use wood and ‘sheet rock’ (drywall), which really isn’t rock but gypsum plaster. If they did build with rock, tornadoes would wreak less havoc. That’s why, in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus advises us to build our houses on rock, not on sand, to contrast trusting in God with trusting in anything else. Investments, possessions, health, heroes—these will all eventually fail us, but God will never fail us. He is our eternal, faithful Rock (Is. 26:4), and He wants us to ‘take Him for granite.’
You and I, on the other hand, dislike being taken for granted, and this likely has at least two reasons: 1) we want to be noticed and appreciated for what we do, and 2) we’re actually not totally reliable. And even though the latter is true, we still want nobody questioning our dependability. “Don’t pressure me to be reliable, but don’t assume that I’m not.”
God is different. He wants us to so take His faithfulness for granted that not trusting Him seems irrational. Read Psalms 105-107. David describes events in Moses’ writings, when the Israelites doubted that God could or would care for them. But then, eventually, their delight and God’s glory were magnified each time they finally returned to trusting Him.
When God is faithful to care for us, how can we ever thank Him for His goodness? In Psalm 116:12-17, David’s answer is surprising: we thank God by asking and trusting Him for more! Asking God to help us is a kind of praise, for each time we depend on Him, we are, in effect, saying to Him, “I cannot, but You can, and You are good, so I trust You.” Dependent faith glorifies the Object of our faith; doubts insult Him.
Again, while we are often unfaithful, we feel offended if people doubt us. On the other hand, few comments lift a father’s spirits more than hearing his child boast, “My daddy can do that—he can do anything!” So consider how deeply offensive it is to doubt our Heavenly Father, who has never failed anyone. Ever! Read Joshua’s last words: “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” (Josh. 23:14). And God has not changed since those words were written.
Look in Scripture for God’s character and promises. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23). Look at any great boulder, or even a mountain. Someday it will be gone, but God is the Rock in whom we trust, upon which we build. Like those whose faith delighted Jesus in Luke 7:1-10, and especially in John 4:50, let’s take Him at His word. He loves that!
God has adopted you as His child, and He smiles when you confidently ‘take Him for granite’: “My Father can do that — He’s the Rock. He loves me, and He can do anything!”