Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, January 31, 2014

False Hope

The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.  -- Psalms 33:17

I always think there ought to be a fix.  There ought to be something a person could do, could have done, should have had, whatever, to avoid a bad outcome.  I’m not alone in this.  Doc Ok, or, is it Oz?, has all kinds of foods you can eat or not eat to avoid getting fat or getting old or getting ugly.  Some of it may even work.  I can tell you from experience, though, that the only way to avoid getting old is to die young and leave a good-looking corpse.  I think sixteen was my last chance for that, so I’m still here. 

I’m a person who believes in planning ahead.  The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it (Proverbs 22:3).  The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but He has given us the spirit of power, love, and self-control, or good judgment (2 Timothy 1:7).  If a person isn’t going to use his head, there’s no sense in him keeping it. 

But the psalmist is right, and not just because he agrees with Bobby Burns, that foresight may prove vain and even our best plans and preparations cannot guarantee success.  Things do go agley.  If we can’t depend on our own insight, understanding, and strength, and all of our technological advancements may prove inadequate, what are we to do? 

I don’t think the answer is to give up, fold our hands and make no effort to prepare.  For example, I love firearms, but I’m a fool if I think that they are going to save me.  A person is better off with a big stick and the Lord than a .50 BMG by itself.  Of course, there’s nothing that says you can’t have the Lord and a Big Mama.  When we lay the best plans we can, we give the Lord something He work with.  

 We ought to know, however, that “… the eye of the Lord is on those … who hope in his steadfast love.  We trust only in the Lord.  He is the one who will preserve and protect us as we look to Him.

False hopes abound in the world, from politics to pills to plastic surgery.  A million false hopes and their inevitable failures cannot deny or degrade the One True Hope who cannot fail.

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