Psalms 118: Why We Should Trust in God
It is funny how things kind of seem to run together all at the same time. I was at a Bible study on Saturday night, and we were talking about the idea of Biblical hope. We were talking about how important it is for our hope to be grounded in God.
Psalms 118 brings up this theme again, and it tells us where it would probably be better if we did not place our trust.
Psa 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Psa 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Let’s take each one in turn.
Is it better to trust in God, or is it better to trust in other people? Well, let me tell you from my experience. People have a way of letting you down. You expect that people will act a certain way, or you expect that they will do something that they never follow through on. People definitely have a way of letting you down from time to time. In fact, sometimes it feels like everyone is letting you down. I know that I haven’t explained why God is better to put your trust in, but I think it is pretty clear that people don’t always follow through. We have all experienced that.
Then, putting our confidence in princes might not be so hot either. I don’t want to go on some kind of anti-government rant, but let me summarize it for you. I think it would be fair to say that there are many points where each of us disagree with the government. After all, it is a system made up of people, and we already established that people have a tendency to disappoint us. If one person can disappoint us, then certainly a collection of people can disappoint us with the decisions that they make. So, again, I haven’t told you why trusting God is better, but I think you can also agree that governments have a way of disappointing us no matter what side of the political spectrum to fall on.
So, if it is not wise to trust in other people or government, why is God any better?
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
This is a saying of Jesus, and He is basically saying that fearing people is kind of pointless. People don’t have any kind of eternal control over you. God on the other hand has that kind of eternal control. He is the ultimate Judge, and that is something that people cannot ever do.
Now, that verse in Matthew probably could use a little bit more explanation to fully appreciate. If you go on in the chapter, you can read about how much God cares about us. You read about how we are more valuable than a few sparrows. As a result of that value, Jesus says that we don’t need to fear.
So where does that leave us?
Well, here is how it seems to me. Verse 28 says don’t worry about people who might kill you because it is far worse to ultimately be condemned. Any bodily pain is nothing compared to that type of eternal punishment. This is a comparative statement. Basically, if you are going to fear people who hurt you, don’t bother because you might as well be terrified of God since He can do a lot more.
However, when you move ahead in the chapter, we find that we have value to God, and if we are children of His, we do not need to fear that type of eternal punishment. Does that kind of makes sense?
It is a chain. Never worry about what other people can do to because God is much more deserving of that terror. We ought to be petrified of Him because of the power that He holds over all of these eternal matters. However, because of verse 32, we don’t need to fear about our eternal destiny because God has promised a way to avoid that condemnation. We don’t lose our fear of God, but we can lose the fear of the consequence. If you are Christian, you do not need to worry about spending eternity separated from God.
I am sorry for the tangent, but I want to try to tie this all back together. If everything I said about the teaching of Jesus from Matthew is true, God has control over eternal things. Jesus taught that, and He taught that humans have limited power.
If we take that truth and apply it to Psalms, we see why it matters. We can trust in God because He has control over eternity, and that is why it is better to trust in Him than to trust in people or governments. Their power is so greatly limited. I know that I kind of took to the long way around on this one, but I think the concept is valuable. Even though we might be terrified that God has the kind of power that can condemn people, it is also a confirmation that if we place our trust in Him, that trust is well-placed. He has the power to come through in a way that nothing on earth can.