In Whom Do We Hope?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.  Psalm 20:7-8 (ESV)

The election for President of the United States is now over.  Barack Obama supporters rejoice while many Mitt Romney supporters sulk in defeat.  Having watched with interest the campaign and having come to the conclusion that Mr. Romney was the better choice based on social and economic concerns, I was initially among the dejected.  Four more years of piling national debt?  More liberal judges on the Supreme Court?  Will the economic sector be able to thrive?  These questions quickly turned to fears.  So I had to step back, turn off Fox News, and consider what life is really all about.  After all, “perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn 4:18).

The verses quoted above tell us two things: (1) the things that the world relies upon for safety and security will collapse; (2) if we trust in God, we will stand.  As to the first, the terms “horses” and “chariots” refer to military might.  If you had enough of these you could adequately defend your homeland, or even conquer neighboring countries.  With this strength would come prosperity and stability, and with those, peace and security.  Yet we cannot limit the verses to mere military might.  Anything we trust in that promises either peace or security can become a pitfall, an idol.  Examples today can indeed include a strong military.  But what about a messianic political figure?  A supreme court that will rule righteously?  A government that has more control?  A government with less control?  A strong economy?  Better educaton?  More technological advances to cure our ills?  The list can go on and on.  We can even rephrase the verse to illustrate:
 
“Some trust in Obama, and some in Romney . . .”
“Some trust in Democrats, and some in Republicans . . .”
“Some trust in a nuclear defense system and a strong navy . . .”
“Some trust in science and some in education . . .”
“Some trust in food storage, and some in their survival skills . . .”
 
What am I saying?  That it’s wrong to to support a candidate, have a strong military, or store food?  Of course not.  Israel had a trained army and Joseph stored tons of food in lieu of a famine.  What is wrong is when we get so wrapped up in any one of them, that we forget the One in charge, the One who created the heavens and the earth, the One who will bring it to its appropriate end.  He is the one who loves us, sent His Son to die for us, and desires us to trust Him above all things.  We were created to worship God alone, and when we get depressed over a candidate losing, or even a favorite sports team getting beaten, we are demonstrating a heart that has lost its bearing.  On the flip side, if we spend too much time and energy rejoicing in these things, this can also be proof to us that our desires are not in alignment with God’s.
 
So I’m not going to spend time being down and out about this election.  Yes, there will likely be some events occur in the next few years that will not align with my ideas.  And it’s not wrong to ponder, discuss, disagree.  But what I must remember is that God is in control, Jesus will come back again some day (soon!), and all these temporal issues and trials will vanish.
 
My word to Romney supporters: Don’t put your hope in a party or a candidate.  They will fail you.  Hope in Christ.  He will never fail you.
 
My word to Obama supporters: Don’t put your hope in a party or a candidate.  They will fail you.  Hope in Christ.  He will never fail you.
 
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 Jn. 5:21)

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