Whom to Trust

“Do not put your trust in princes,” the psalmist says. They are mere mortals, their means are limited, and whatever plans they have die with them.

An unspoken corollary would be not to despair over princes either. It’s true that a bad leader might make a mess of things, and the worst can do a world of damage. But even the most terrible regimes come to an end eventually, and no matter what else is going on, God is still God, and God is working to redeem this world.

Which, of course, is the reason for our hope. “Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,” the psalmist goes on to say. God made heaven and earth, and the Lord keeps faith forever, even when human beings don’t.

God’s keeping faith includes all sorts of encouraging signs. God executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, sets the prisoner free, lifts up those who are bowed down, watches over the strangers, and upholds the orphan and the widow. That’s a short list of things God cares about, the psalmist reminds us; and because God cares about them, so must the people of God.

In fact, God’s people are the principal way God gets things done among us. So whatever the princes are doing, or failing to do, our job is the same: to be about God’s work in the world. Earthly rulers come and go, but “the Lord will reign forever.” Praise the Lord!

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