Psalm 146:3, Psalm 118:9

Mike Rimmer
Mike Rimmer

I have to admit that at first I was a little shocked. I had an American Christian music artist sitting opposite me in the studio and he had presented me with his latest release on a freshly burnt CDR and had hand written me a lengthy track listing on a piece of scrap paper right there as I continued doing my show. But there it was! Track number four, 'Don't Trust Barak Obama'. An American suggesting that it would be unwise to trust a president?

But then Peter Nevland is no ordinary artist, he has a knack for creating words that twist and turn in the air and eventually make you look at things in a fresh way. I noticed in the small print on my homemade CD listing that he'd helpfully added a scripture to prevent anybody thinking he was committing any kind of high treason. Psalm 146:3 which says, 'Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save'.

About 10 years ago, there was an internet hoax email that went out telling everyone that Psalm 118:9 was the exact middle verse of the Bible. It gave lots of false facts and figures and then suggested that it was more than cool that it should be the exact middle verse of scripture because the verse summed up the entire message of the Bible:

'It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes'.

Lots of people still think it's the middle verse of scripture even now, but it isn't. However it does say something extremely important. In times of social and economic upheaval or in moments of personal tragedy or disappointment or simply in the midst of exam stress, where do we put our trust?

Every day the news is filled with the politicians and their plans to make things better, but nothing really seems to change for the better. Nevland is right that you cannot put your trust in a leader like Obama or David Cameron, no matter how much they cultivate an image or try to win your confidence with their speeches and personal appearances. They are just people like us.

So, in times of crisis, where do you go for help? Not to politicians! To friends? Family? To the bank manager or voluntary agencies designed to help us? Some of those might be helpful.

I've noticed that even amongst Christians, when we face a crisis, there's a tendency to try very hard to sort it out ourselves and pursue whatever course of action we see fit; but often, the idea of bringing it to God and praying comes quite close to the bottom of the list when everything else has failed.

Maybe next time something goes wrong, we can remember that we can take refuge in God rather than our own plans or indeed other human beings or institutions. God is a secure refuge when everything else around us collapses. The Bible repeatedly describes God as a strong place to take refuge. He is a rock and a strong tower.

It was Peter who wrote to the early church to encourage them to, 'Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you'. This week, when things go wrong, don't hesitate or run anywhere else. Take refuge in the God who cares for you. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.