Julie Lyles Carr: Sunday Selah

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Selah

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
       but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 
Psalm 20:7

Last week was something else, huh?  Stock markets giants falling like Goliath, government bailouts, bank buy outs, debates, debacles and doom.  

Everywhere I turn I see the concerns.  Whether I'm chatting on the telephone with a friend, emailing a buddy, watching a news channel or surfing the web, the fears and worries of a nation wave across the headlines.  I discuss politics with one friend and I hear their concerns about this presidential candidate.  I talk with another friend and hear their concerns about the other political candidate.  This commentator is for market buyouts.  This commentator is against them.  Disagreement, fear, anger, argument.  It swirls in a dark funnel of projection and pundits.

You would think our salvation is dependent upon it.

We tend to think that we have re-invented the wheel, that we have come up with some new crisis that has never been seen before.  We think ourselves that complicated and multi-faceted, that we face challenges uncommon to the human experience.  We are a wee bit prideful, aren't we?

A casual perusal of the human family album yields some interesting info.  War, famine, financial collapse, hostile armies, religious persecution, cruelty, cultural desimation, plague.  Our ancestors faced all these seasons.  Cities rose and fell, governments gained power and collapsed.  Bigger armies and crueler dictators and higher taxes were developed as security against any foe.  And it would work...for a while.  And then a new political player would enter the world stage and the domination clock would hit a reset.  And the process would begin again.

Israel was no stranger to these ebbs and flows.  Hostile nations would come against them.  Hostile kings would plot to overtake them.  Hostile forces would coalese and plan and prepare and invade.  Israel sometimes had leadership that was prepared for the challenge and Israel sometimes had leadership that was unprepared.  But their one security, over horses, over armies, over wealth, over strategy was this:  to trust in the name of the Lord.

Israel overcame impossible odds...when they trusted in the name of the Lord.  Israel was defeated by weaker foes when they did not trust.  Armies and leaders and chariots and coins are tools the Lord provides.  But they are only tools.  

This is perhaps my greatest fear for America, that we have come to believe that the entirety of our future is in the strength of our chariots and horses.  That the entirety of our future is held in the hands of one president.  That the entirety of our hope, our security, our salvation rests in the tools of politics, financial markets, military.

If your candidate is not elected, God is there.  If your bank fails, God is there.  If hostilities rise as the ghost of Cold Wars past, God is there.  This nation exists as an expression of an ideal.  It is a powerful ideal.  I hope my children and my children's children and my children's children's children are its beneficiaries.  But the mistake I don't want to make is in placing too much faith in the tools of a government.  That faith must rest in God and God alone.

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