I went to Europe for just six days, and by the time I returned the Blue Jays had been turfed out of the playoffs and this guy had been elected as our Prime Minister. (I actually noticed that he was front-center on the cover of the German newspapers.) While I felt surprisingly little despair over the demise of my team, I couldn’t hold off some discouragement in seeing Trudeau and his Liberal Party of Canada sweep into power. He becomes Prime Minister at a time when Canadians are eager for change and when they are eager for someone to lead them into a liberal and licentious future—Trudeau, after all, made the legalization of marijuana one of his key campaign promises and told prospective members of parliament they were not welcome in his party if they are pro-life.
It was a sudden and interesting little realization that drew me out of my despair. I found myself pondering the well-known words of Psalm 146:3-4: “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.” Here the psalmist admits our temptation to find hope in men, to put our trust in princes and presidents and prime ministers. We know better. We know the futility of trusting in men. But still we are prone to it. Still we do it.
And it struck me that there are two sides to this temptation. The temptation is not only to put my hope in politicians but to put my despair in them as well. I will be tempted not only to find too much joy in the election of the person I voted for, but also to sink too far into despair in the election of the person I did not. Either way, whether I soar too high or sink too low, I am declaring that I have put my trust in a man more than in God. I have forgotten that, ultimately, it is God who rules over and through earthly rulers.
The psalmist gets this. He gets it and pushes back by declaring that our hope is to always be anchored in God: “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” In the rest of the psalm he explains why God and God alone is worthy of our confidence: He is the one who created the world, he is the one who formed humanity, he is the one who sustains all that exists, he is the one who keeps faith, who executes justice, who provides for our needs, who brings the wicked to ruin. He is the one who rules whether through good rulers or bad ones, through the ones I would have chosen and the ones I just can’t stand.
“The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD” (Psalm 146:10)! Even while Justin Trudeau has the next 4 years to advance his agenda, it is the Lord who reigns.
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