Psalm 118:5-9: Keep Looking to God

Psalm 118:5-9

 Out of my distress I called on the Lord;

    the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

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

Backlit Rose | Mercer Botanical Garden | March 2023

Judas’ failure is notorious. He made a deal with the Pharisees to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. When the time came, he did the deed. Peter’s failure is storied. He claimed that even though all the other disciples would fall away, he would never do so. Then he betrayed Jesus, denying his Lord three times. Then will come Thomas. No betrayal. Just unbelief until he could see Jesus for himself, feel this scarred hands. The only one of the 12 who will remain with Jesus throughout his suffering and death is John. He would join Mary, Jesus’ mother, and a few other women at the foot of the cross.

Don’t count on man or woman to save you. Because even though Mary, the women, and John were there when Jesus died, they could not save him from his plight. He would suffer. He would die. He would be buried. Nothing, no one, would stand in the way of Jesus’ passion. There will be no one who could stop it.

But Jesus didn’t rely on man. He was surely comforted by John’s presence at the cross. He loved his mother and commended her to John’s care. It’s likely that although the women were present also (and this is speculation), he would have been somewhat bolstered by their presence, even as he was sad that they had to see him in such a shameful condition. Above all that, however, Jesus entrusted himself to God, his heavenly Father.

And look where it got him. But I am getting ahead of myself. We’ll get there. But for now, let’s hold to this truth: It is better to trust in God than any man, woman, political system, financial system, medical treatment, or social structure. These may all be good. But they hold no candle to God’s ability to help and power to save.

Sometimes, however, we must wait to see the deliverance of God. Just as Jesus did on the cross, looking for God but being forsaken by him, suffering to the point of death. But never denying God. Never losing faith. Never taking his eye off the joy that was before him.

Maybe today you’re looking for God’s redemption, help, blessing, or salvation. Perhaps you have looked for some time and yearned for the hand of God to be revealed for your good. It might not yet have come. And you might be tempted to find help, relief, hope, peace, or comfort elsewhere. Today we must remember, it it better to trust in God than in horses, kings, man, or woman. God alone saves. He has promised. He will do it.

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