Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church April 7th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
Psalm 146:3-10 (VOICE)
3 Do not put your trust in the rulers of this world - kings and princes. Do not expect any rescue from mortal men. 4 As soon as their breath leaves them, they return to the earth; on that day, all of them perish—their dreams, their plans, and their memories.
5 Blessed are those whose help comes from the God of Jacob, whose hope is centered in the Eternal their God - 6 Who created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that lives within them; Who stays true and remains faithful forever; 7 Who works justice for those who are pressed down by the world, providing food for those who are hungry.
The Eternal frees those who are imprisoned; 8 He makes the blind see. He lifts up those whose backs are bent in labor; He cherishes those who do what is right. 9 The Eternal looks after those who journey in a land not their own; He takes care of the orphan and the widow, but He frustrates the wicked along their way.
10 The Eternal will reign today, tomorrow, and forever. People of Zion, your God will rule forever over all generations. Praise the Eternal!
All of us, whether we recognize it or not, are looking for leadership – for someone to follow and guide us. This is, I believe, always true, it’s why we have heroes and why we elevate athletes and singers, movie stars and other public figures to special status.
This need for someone to follow is never more apparent, though, than in the midst of trouble or a crisis. It is in these moments, when we are unsure of what to do next or what is happening that this desire for leadership becomes even more pronounced.
There are, of course, good leaders and not-so-good leaders and in moments of testing the difference between them often becomes very clear. Good leadership can alter the course of a family, a community and even a country.
But all of our leaders have their limits. No matter how good, how skilled, how competent a leader might be, they will all eventually let us down in one way or another. These moments often (too often) come in the form of a scandal – an indiscretion made public, or worse – but they are sometimes much less dramatic.
Because all of our leaders are human, they will all make mistakes. None of them are perfect, none of them are without fault. All of our leaders, intentionally or not, fall short from time to time. The ‘best’ leaders do so less often, and do their best to mitigate their faults and shortcomings, but they are still there.
That is why it is crucial that we look to the right place for true leadership and sound guidance. That place, both in times of trouble and times of abundance, is Jesus. When we place our trust and our faith in anyone or anything to guide us other than Jesus – no matter how ‘good’ they or it might be – eventually and always we will be let down, disappointed or worse.
The words of today’s Psalm remind us to not look towards our earthly leaders for deliverance and to not trust in humanity to guide us, but rather to truth in the God of Jacob, to save us and lead us on the true path of light and life.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: It is so easy, Lord, to be led astray. We often seek guidance and look to the leadership of others. Remind us, Lord of wisdom and light, that you are the source of our deliverance and you alone will never leave us or misguide us. Help us to trust more fully in you. Amen.