“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord His God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food for the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.” – Psalm 146: 3-7
America is known for the phrase, “in God we trust.” Its meaning as to how it applies and shapes the country is to be interpreted, but if we take it at face value, ‘trusting God’ would be relying on His power, grace, and provision; and in relation to the United States, it would mean we, as a nation, placing our faith in God for all things.
The current situation today is far from pleasant. The American people have continually been in a state of fear regarding their jobs, safety, and prosperity. Economic turmoil, foreign disputes, the rise of terrorism – all these things have further increased the anxiety of many people.
In an uncertain world, men should be looking to God for certitude. However, that has not been the case. The most recent election has led to the rise of many influential leaders, men and women all offering solutions. They bring hope, passion, and optimism for what the future holds. To satisfy their desire for certainty, many people have placed their trust in promises of a better life. With a new presidency dawning, many have become hopeful. They believe that the person elected will see to his word, and bring restoration to the country. These people believe the new president will help, and so, they trust in his ability to make it happen.
Then there are other people who don’t believe in the upcoming president and preferred a different candidate. They trust in that person’s ability to bring change and not the other’s.
Regardless of which person someone wanted for the presidency, the fact is, many people trusted in an individual for the well being of society. Is this wrong? Not necessarily. We must realize there is a difference between trusting a person’s ability, character, and promises (just like children do with their parents) as opposed to trusting a person for, say, the salvation of the world. Eventually there becomes a point where trusting someone can become an idol.
The recent election has caused many people to put a stake in the ground and declare that the outcome could possibly lead to the end of the entire nation. This sentiment has led thousands of people to place an overwhelming amount of trust in a specific person. Fanaticism and deep passion can be seen on all sides of the isle. All claimed that if their candidate was elected, the world would be a much safer, happier, and pleasant place.
In a day where the world is in constant tension, it can be extremely easy to place an excessive amount of faith in a person promising hope. That trust can become so deep that it oftentimes leads to believing that man to be a savior. This is wrong.
Simply put, when one believes another man to the point where he becomes the savior of America (or any other great thing for that matter), it’s quite clear that his mindset has become idolatrous. That person is elevated to the point where he is praised as a god. It becomes “in man we trust”, instead of “in God we trust.”
Scripture warns us of this sin, “do not put your trust in princes” the Psalmist says, “nor in a son of man”, “in whom there is no help”, “His spirit departs…and in that day his plans perish.”
Here we are told not to trust in the leaders and the men of this world. In them we cannot receive help. If it be our lives on earth, they may be able to comfort us for a time, but in the day they die, all their work, all their endeavors, all their plans, all of it blows away.
Nor can they save the soul. No earthly cause sought by the highest king or the wisest man can deliver us from our wretched nature. We all perish on our own.
Its then vanity to place one’s trust in a man. The one who does so has thrown his life into the fire. Though he may do it in hope of safety, prosperity, and happiness, he must realize that such things last only for a while. He must place his faith in the One Everlasting, lest he lose his soul.
“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob as his help.” Here we are given a promise. Not a sorry, futile promise, that could blow away with the slightest wind, but a sure one. When we fall on God for the things of this life, for the security of the soul; for strength, peace, and hope; we can trust that He will help. When one asks, he will receive (Matt 21:22), God is faithful. (1 Cor. 1:9)
We can be assured of this promise because God “made the heaven and the earth…the sea”; because He, “keeps truth forever”, “executes justice for the oppressed”, “gives food for the hungry”, “freedom to the prisoners.” God does all these things. He is Sovereign. He is worthy.
So let us not place our trust in man. Let it not be “in man we trust”, for there we shall find no deliverance. Let us fall upon our Lord, our only true help; in Him we will not falter. Let us all come from the midst of the storm, and though the world may weigh down upon us and burden our souls, we will rise. Let us in unison sing, let us cry, let us stand together and with one voice declare, “IN GOD WE TRUST!”