Not In Princes
Psalm 146:3-4 (ESV) – Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Do you trust people? Some people are naturally more trusting of people than others. Those who have been hurt by people in the past sometimes struggle to trust others. Other people are easily trusting and take people at face value and at their word. Trusting people is a good thing. In fact, much of society functions on the basis that we can believe what people say. We could not have a functioning society if nobody ever believed or trusted people.
But our passage today warns us about not finding our ultimate hope in people. We can’t trust people for everything. We read in the psalms, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”
Do not put your trust in “princes.” The idea here is in people of prominence and authority. Does this mean we should look with calloused skepticism at everything they say and do? No. The psalmist is talking about the hopes of our hearts. He warns not to trust princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. Obeying a prince over God is foolish. The prince can’t save you or redeem you from your sins. The prince cannot grant you eternal life.
The reason we don’t trust in any person for our ultimate hope is that all men die. They die and depart from the world just like everyone else. Hitler died. Alexander the Great died. Franklin Roosevelt died. Queen Elizabeth II died. Death comes to all. When people die, they return to the earth just like servants, slaves, and unknown people. The plans and dreams of every important figure dies with them. They no longer have the capacity or ability to carry out their plans. They cannot leverage their money, personalities, or power. They’re gone.
The antithesis of trusting in princes is trusting the Lord. He is our only ultimate hope for eternal life. He is the One we will stand before upon our death. We do not want to live with our trust in the prince because we will not stand before the prince in eternal judgment. No, we will stand before the Lord. Let your heart and trust shift from confidence in men to the One who stands above all men.
The Lord is our only ultimate hope for eternal life. He is the One we will stand before upon our death. Do not place your trust in leaders of this world. Let your heart and trust shift from confidence in men to the One who stands above all men.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do we often put so much hope and stock in trusting princes and authority figures?
- What are some examples of healthy trust in leaders and unhealthy trust?
- How should this passage shape our lives as believers today?
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