Friday, January 20, 2012

Misplaced Hope

The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.  ~Psalm 33:16
This fella can only do so much, but God delivers!

When I think about some of the things I have counted on, or looked to for deliverance, I remember this verse and I am ashamed. All of us are easily impressed by the power of a large army, or the strength of an Olympic weightlifter, and for Christians, it seems, the allure of a legislative majority has become a powerful influence.

The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.  ~Psalm 33:17

In the days of old, battles were fought by large armies of men out in the open. The fighting was, for the most part, close in and sword against sword, spear against spear. For those who were privileged enough to ride into battle on a horse, there was the additional benefit of being up above most of the battle. Oh yes, and if things went bad for your side, you could more easily get away.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.  ~Psalm 33:18,19

The point in this psalm is there are a number of things we are easily impressed with and so readily depend on to aid us in times of trouble or conflict. But, as the psalmist points out, trusting in those things is a waste of time and their promise of deliverance is going to come up empty. Our hope would be better placed on the One who is merciful and capable of delivering even our souls.

Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.  ~Psalm 33:20

One of the distinctions that separate God’s people from the rest of the world should be our reliance upon the Lord. We ought to recognize that our deliverance, when it comes, is from God Almighty and not the might of our country, our own strength, or even some political party. Do you know why God is our deliverer and defender?

For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.  ~Psalm 33:21,22

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