Saturday, September 12, 2015
Psalm 118:8 "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man."
The opening passage of today's post is appropriately the middle verse of our English Bibles. The Bible is unquestionably God centered. Wherever you turn in the books of the Bible, you will find verse after verse depiciting either man's ultimate need as being God in Jesus Christ or the glorious revelation of this God. Take the prophecy of Jeremiah for example. In Jeremiah 40-42 we see what happened to the people of Judah who were left behind following the exile of the majority of Jewish people into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Jeremiah the prophet was left to live among the poorer people spared by Nebuchadnezzar to remain behind in and around Jerusalem. Not everyone was happy to be remaining and much fear was brewing among the remnant of Jews as to whether they would be taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had assigned a governor by the name of Gedeliah to watch over the people. To compound the already jittery climate of fear, Gedeliah was assassinated by a wicked man named Ishmael who was part of an intricate plot conceived by the Ammonites, a pagan people who dwelled in the land. Ishmael's wickedness was demonstrated when in killing a bunch of men he had them thrown into an old, dried up well in the city.
Mankind is no better than a well full of dead corpses when attempting to preserve himself in the face of judgment . Jeremiah the prophet comes along and warns the people and the leaders among them not to fear, but to dwell in the land around Jerusalem, for God is willing to grant favor and sustain them. Jeremiah warns those who have it in them to flee to Egypt to not go, lest they suffer by the hand of the king of Babylon from whom they are trying to escape.
Despite the prophet Jeremiah's warnings, certain leadership convinces the people that they have no other choice but to flee to Egypt. They choose to trust in man rather than God. Jeremiah and others are forced to go with them, showing that God has a remnant whom He uses to bear witness and call others to repentance.
When we briefly turn to the New Testament, the book of Hebrews urges the reader to look to the excellency and supremacy of Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 2 we see the first of five warnings in the book issued to those who claim to know Jesus with their lips but do not possess the necessary saving faith in their hearts. Anyone who refuses to heed God's voice does so because it was in them to do so as a result of their willful choice. (Acts 13:46; Hebrews 2:3) Anyone who turns and believes on the Lord does so because of God's grace working in the person whom He has given to run into the arms of Jesus. (John 10:27-29; Hebrews 2:13) The writer then details all that God did in the sending of His Son, and how Christ alone provides salvation and the grace necessary to fight and overcome temptation.
So in this brief look at two books of the Bible, what can we glean? It is always better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.