“do not put your trust in princes,” or in politicians

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

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.

Psalm 146

It is the way of the world to put confidence in political, governmental leaders, and in governments. In this day of democracy in many places, it seems like there’s no end to the renewed hope and expectations that come with elections, along with the inevitable let down when reality determines something different. And there’s the propensity with some to turn to some authoritarian leader who promises to take care of everything if they’re in charge.

We as God’s people ought to know better. We should put no ultimate trust in any politician, or government, no matter how good they might be. And the really good ones will themselves insist that their authority is derived, and that it is God who is the supreme ruler, not they, nor their government. And as such they are indeed responsible to God.

Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not. It’s as simple as that. And profound as well. So that I won’t bow the knee to any political regime. At the same time the kingdom of God in Jesus now present in the world from God through him by the Spirit is active in ways that the world is not, as well as in ways the world is. Of course always with the distinctive touch of God in Jesus.

Someday the Lord will return in judgment of the nations, and then will be King of kings, and Lord of lords in a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Until then we trust in God with reference to governmental authorities, but not in the authorities themselves. But God has required us to submit to every human institution for the Lord’s sake (Peter), and so we do insofar as their rule does not contradict the express will of God.

And so we don’t put our trust in any politican or political party or movement. We might to some extent support something of such at certain times. We realize not only their fragility, but the judgment which not only is to come, but which takes place in this present age. When nations and human officials come and go, the church remains right until the coming of the Lord. Our hope, trust and ultimate allegiance is in God and God’s Son, Jesus. Our confidence for a sure salvation which is as big as all of life. Even as we pray for human authorities, and God’s work in humble yet important ways through them.

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