Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. Psalm 146:3–5
Throughout Scripture we are reminded that God is sovereign over all things, including political affairs (Daniel 2:21, Romans 13:1-7); not just domestic but international (Acts 17:26-27). God raises up leaders and takes them down. In other words, whatever the election results, God is in control.
Psalm 146 is especially relevant as the political fervor increases after another election.
Just as the people of Israel were tempted to put their trust in the king’s sons, the next generation of leaders – the “princes” – so we are tempted to place too much hope in presidents, senators and congressional leaders. We are reminded by these verses, however, that human beings by themselves cannot save.
Throughout history there have been a wide array of political and social leaders in this country and planet. History tells us that politicians can provide leadership that helps ease pain for the suffering, improve order in chaos, bring justice to the marginalized and provide security for the vulnerable.
But even when our politicians walk in integrity, they likely cannot live up to all of our expectations. They do not possess all wisdom, power, and benevolence. Our political leaders will make mistakes, their plans will be frustrated by political opposition, as well as the changing tide of popular opinion. Their hearts will be tempted by pride and the power entrusted to them. Thus the caution in Psalm 146:3: Do not put your trust in princes, but rather, hope in the Lord.”
God is the “maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, who remains faithful forever…upholds the cause of the oppressed…gives food to the hungry… sets prisoners free … gives sight to the blind … lifts up those who are bowed down … loves the righteous … watches over the foreigner … sustains the fatherless and the widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked” (Psalm 146:6-9).
Centuries before November 3 God established an eternal ruler in the person of Jesus Christ. In Isaiah’s words:
“He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever“ (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Stay engaged with politics and be aware of political developments. Be informed with facts, not just political opinion. Pray daily for our elected officials, as they are incurably human. Hold them accountable, as they are charged with great responsibility. But do not be lured into placing too much hope in a political system, by embracing a political agenda that eclipses the Gospel of Jesus Christ.