By Brooke Holt
“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. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” – Psalm 146:3–5
Psalm 146 began with a command to praise the Lord. The psalmist devoted two verses to this invitation to worship: praise God. But the next verse immediately commands the opposite: do not trust in man. Let’s face it. As humans, we love to praise and trust those people whom we can see and touch. We want quick and tangible answers to our questions. And just look at the brilliance of man, especially those in leadership. They are the ones whom we can trust, right?
The psalmist teaches us another way. Elsewhere in the Psalms, we see that men and women are valued and loved because they are made in the image of God (Psalm 8:4; 144:3). But here in Psalm 146, he reminds us to look first to God. God is the only being with perfect wisdom and perfect power. God alone is eternal in his being, and God alone can give salvation to his people. But men are born, and men die; we proceed from ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Rulers will make mistakes; spouses will die; friends will move away. Nothing in this world remains steadfast except the Lord.
Blessed is the man or woman who looks first to the Lord for help and hope. God alone has the power to make something out of nothing. Think of manna falling from the sky in the wilderness or water gushing from the rock with just a word. God alone can change a human heart or part the Red Sea. God alone can feed the multitudes from five barley loaves and two small fish. God has power over this world and the world to come. Man asserts power in this world, but his days and influence are numbered.
The psalmist prompts you to test your heart. Do you trust and hope in people, or do you trust and hope in the Lord your God? If you begin with your trust and hope in the Lord, you can then more safely look to people. They are your companions on this journey of faith. Though the journey will be hard at times, you will be blessed! If you begin with people who do not lead you to the Lord, you will eventually experience the futility of your misplaced trust and hope. Though powerful and wise, man is fallible and fragile.
Just as the psalm began with praise of the Lord our God, every verse of the psalm points back to God. He alone is worthy of our ultimate praise because he alone is our salvation, our help, and our hope. Let’s look to him today!
Think about the people you look to for guidance: in relationships, in leadership, and on social media. Ask God to forgive you for trusting in man. Praise him for his power over sin and death forever! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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