I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
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 is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-- he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” - Psalm 146
As I write this article, the U.S. Government is still shutdown. It is disappointing, frustrating, and an outrage that those in power seem to be using their influence and authority in ways that neglect the work that they are elected to do.
Sometimes, however, I need to be reminded that our politicians are real, everyday, ordinary people. How can I expect them not to get caught up in ideology, loyalties and stubborn pride? “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is not our government leaders who can save us, our country or our world. It is God alone who can work peace out of this governmental mess.
The good news is that God is good at bringing life and peace out of death and ashes. Jesus died at the hands of a corrupt government mess. Even so God raised Jesus from the dead bringing life, salvation and hope to the whole world.
God doesn’t need governments and political systems, but often God works through (and despite) them. In the Bible God works through kings and rulers, warns and advises governments through the prophets. God even saves the people from oppression through Cyrus, a foreign ruler.
God allows human beings free will to create and sustain communities, states and nations. God gives people room to figure how to govern, order, protect, and provide. God works through these powers and systems to bring wholeness, healing, and care to the weakest and vulnerable ones.
Psalm 146 outlines what God has done through governments and people with authority and means:
God upholds the cause of the oppressed;
Gives food to the hungry;
Sets prisoners free;
Provided health care to the blind: and
Watches over the foreigners, the widows and the orphans.
Please join me in praying for our government leaders and politicians, for our poor and vulnerable people, and for God to bring peace, wholeness, and civility to our nation and world.