Psalm 146:3-5 (NIV)
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope in is the LORD their God.
How much faith do you put in the current occupant of the White House? When he’s “your guy,” do you feel more confident about the future? More secure? Prouder to be an American? What about when the President is a member of the other party? Does that introduce a certain level of uncertainty, frustration, and concern into your life? For many of us the “prince” we put our trust in is not a person but perhaps a relationship, or an account balance, or our health, or just our circumstances in general. All of these things—including the President— are important, but can they be trusted to get you through the storms of life? Can they be trusted to truly care for you? Can they do a single thing about your eternal destiny?
Putting our ultimate trust in any human being, institution, or circumstance is a fool’s errand. All three of them will eventually come to ruin and “their plans come to nothing” (v. 4). Of course, we can’t fully abandon the need for good leaders, trustworthy institutions, and healthy circumstances…but is that where your hope is resting its weight? When those things are weakened does your trust come undone? Does it create anxiety? Fear? Perhaps even panic? Spurgeon noted well that, “This is the narrow estate of man, his breath, his earth, and his thoughts; and this is his threefold climax therein—his breath goeth forth, to his earth he returns, and his thoughts perish. Is this a being to be relied upon? Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. To trust it would be a still greater vanity.”
King David wrote in Psalm 20 that, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” This coming from a man who was the King of Israel at the time with a might army at his command and a fortified city at his back! David knew, as good kings do, that these things were important…but he also knew they were not ultimate. Chariots break, horses die, armies can be defeated, and even the great city of Jerusalem could be sacked and utterly destroyed, but not so—on any level—with the God of the Bible. That is why this psalm takes a decidedly positive and upward turn:
“Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God” (v. 5).
In other words, putting your trust in the things of this world will actually serve as a curse, whereas placing the full weight of your trust in the “God of Jacob” will be a blessing. Trust in the things of this world will always lead to disappointment while trust in the God of Jacob will always lead to deliverance—sometimes in the here and now, but always in the end. Your candidate may be in the White House, but only the God of Jacob sits high enough to be worthy of your complete trust. Every single person on this earth will disappoint you because they lack the ability to do much about anything. However, the God of Jacob has the eternal ability to do whatever He wants about anything He chooses, and that is a Prince (of Peace) worthy of your complete trust!