Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mantras and Memes

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. ~ Psalm 146 (I encourage you to read this short Psalm in its entirety)


Written after the Babylonian Captivity that enslaved them for nearly six decades, God's people are now back in Jerusalem. A host of social problems plagued their society: political oppression, hunger, human rights violations, sickness, alien immigration, fatherlessness, and wicked people that preyed on the powerless and broken. Leaders, who were supposed lead God's people to follow them--as they followed God, instead slickly promoted themselves to godhood and blazed a trail into spiritual oblivion. The clueless and equally godless followed. It did not end well. Never does. Never will.

Sound familiar?

Let's get this straight, the messenger is not advocating that God's people trust no one, and conversely spout the pious mantra, we trust only God. That's not the way it works. That won't work.

Then what is he saying? Approaching the problem from the back door, he reminds them that they must come to grips with the heart of the problem. It the problem that leads to all others--if they didn't want God's help, they wouldn't get it. They are free to follow whom they chose.

But as mortals their attempts to solve problems--as immortal as the soul God gave them--were destined to fail. Spiritual problems are only solved with spiritual solutions. His charge was crystal clear--people of faith must turn back to God. Their mantra must be God-centered: Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the maker of heaven and earth. The way out is to humbly confess to God that we are in a mess of our own making, we need His help, and He is our only hope.

The Psalmist humbly implied to those who looked to him, "You can't trust me, nor human solutions, to bring deliverance. Let us seek God's deliverance." Sadly, that's a mantra we are unlikely to hear from world leaders, or a new meme posted on Facebook. Instead, we will continue to look for mortal gods to solve the problems only The Immortal God can.



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