In these days of political change and a global health crisis, what we need is a dose of realism. A focus on what is eternal and what is temporal.
God does not need a Republican government or a Democrat government to bring about His purposes. The kingdoms of this world are in place for the purposes of God.
Chuck Colson said it best, “The kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One, no matter who is occupying it.”
In seasons of national change, we must take a step back and realize that we, as followers of Jesus, are part of a different kingdom, we are part of a far greater and eternal kingdom. That is where our allegiance and our faith must lie (Revelation 5:9-10).
The author of Psalm 146 lived in a time of national change and upheaval. While we don’t know the exact time and authorship of this Psalm, some early Greek manuscripts refer to this Psalm as being of Haggai and Zechariah. Which may refer to this Psalm being penned around the time of Nehemiah when Jerusalem was being rebuilt and the remnant was returning from exile. It was a time of refocusing the nation and worshipping the one true God.
The Psalm begins and ends with the phrase, “praise the Lord”, the Hebrew word, “Hallelujah.” The Psalmist goes on in verse 2, “I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” This worshipper was not a Sunday morning believer, he was committing every moment of every day to the worship and praise of God. So captivated by the throne of God that nothing else mattered.
It then seems that the Psalm takes an abrupt turn, obviously referring to something that was happening in the political arena at the time. “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” (Psalm 146:3-4)
People put their trust in many different things, the stock market, the military, their family, and the most prominent form of trust is placed in leaders. And sometimes we make the mistake of not remembering that these are also broken and weak people who need a savior just as we do.
A healthy exercise is to take a step back and really think about where and in whom you are placing your trust. The frailty of humanity will always let you down.
The Psalmist goes back to praising God and says, “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5).
Putting your trust in God is not simply a good thing to do. It has eternal rewards, and lifelong blessing. The real test was in our personal responses to the inauguration on Wednesday this past week; if you were despondent and fearful for the future, or if you were elated and excited for the future, your hope might be in the wrong person.
The Psalmist says that the one we put our trust in is the uncreated Creator and sustainer of all things. The one we put our trust in, is the one who gives President Biden breath.
God is not simply the creator who set things in motion, He is the sustainer as verse 6 says, “…who keeps faith forever”. Our God is eternally faithful and cares for His creation. You will never find a follower of Jesus who has found God to be unreliable (Psalm 37:25).
The next three verses, the Psalmist lists eight oppressed and suffering people groupings, people that the world often overlooks, but God sees and cares for.
- The Lord executes justice for the oppressed.
- The Lord feeds the hungry.
- The Lord sets the prisoner free, (Possibly referring to the Exodus).
- The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. (Possibly referring to God opening the spiritual eyes of the people to see the truth).
- The Lord raises up those who are bowed down, those who are weighed down by the cares and the worries of the world.
- The Lord watches over the sojourner or the foreigner.
- The Lord cares for the orphan and the widow.
Only God can bring lasting relief to all these categories. Our God is the Lord who cares for the weak and the helpless.
The Apostle Paul knew this, writing in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
As we come to the end of the Psalm, it seems that the writer takes an abrupt turn, “but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin” Psalm 146:9b.
God is a god of justice. He defends the weak and He always brings the wicked to justice. God is consistent. It might not be in the timing we like, just like the relief for the downtrodden. But be sure, God will always bring justice. And that is a sobering thought.
God is not to be mocked, He is to be worshipped as the Psalm closes with a final Hallelujah in verse 10, echoing Psalm 46:6-7. What a declaration of the majesty of God!
For the Christian in America our role has not changed. The calling on your life does not change with the political winds of the nation. The mission of the church has not changed in the last month, it remains the same.
Do you trust in the faithfulness of God today? Or are you guilty of putting too much trust in man?
Joe Biden is our president, and Jesus is our King.
There is only one King who will reign forever and only one King who will make perfect decisions and rulings. There is only one king who has the power to transform the world.
Are you trusting that King today?