WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, September 26, 2022

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Psalm 146:1-6 and 10, which proclaims:     

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;….. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!


“Don’t put your trust in princes, in a “son of man” in whom there is no salvation” (v. 3). That’s about as straightforward as it gets. Like we say here at the LCRL, “Good politics CANNOT save us, but bad politics can destroy us.” Or, as G.K Chesterton, a tongue-in-cheek expositor of “do not put your trust in princes” wisdom, put it,  

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.[1]

Having been in Washington, D.C., now for almost 6 years, I think Chesterton is on to something. But, seriously, in full view of all that’s happening in our country, I’m more convinced than ever that the only solution to the deep problems that plague every human soul is the Law of God, which convicts us all and calls us to repentance, followed by the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that changes sinful human hearts, causing them to receive the gift of faith in Christ alone. That’s “trust in the right place!” So we should not look to politics, economics, technology, or wealth to save us. They have their place, but without biblical, godly moral direction and purpose, such things will all-too-often destroy, rather than save us, and even the best of those plans come to nothing in the end.

“Put not your hope in princes (politicians)” ought to serve as a prophetic word to our own generation! We should pass just laws for sure, but justice must conform to the moral teachings of God’s Word. We should punish the “bad” guys and encourage the “good” guys (see Romans 13:3-4). But even that at its best won’t save us. Why? Our problems run much deeper than something that money, policy, jails, or political power can fix. A profound and fundamental change must take place in the hearts of people. A change must occur at the deepest levels of what makes us truly human. We must turn from our arrogant hope in ourselves, and turn to the Lord who brings hope and help to all in need.   

So take this bit of wisdom to heart: Christians should not be indifferent to politics, commerce, and culture, but we are to put and keep them in their proper place. Our primary trust and allegiance is to God and His Word, and then to family and to church. After those, government, a necessary, second-level addition of God’s providential care in the world, should command our concern since even governments come under God’s authority and design (see Romans 13:1-2). We have a responsibility to hold earthly authorities accountable for what they are to do and not to do (at least in America). Through faithful citizenship, we should also prayerfully ensure its proper, preserving role among us. Why? For the ultimate purpose that all might freely hear and proclaim the Good News of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love as a gift of grace in the person and work of Jesus the Messiah for all.

What a way to live! We are praise-filled people who hope and trust in the Lord because He cares for us like no one else. The Psalmist begins and ends with shouts of “Hallelujah,” translated, “Praise the LORD,” in order to remind us that our help and our hope are in the LORD who “reigns forever” (v. 10). Our life and salvation rest in the One who cares for each of us and who “remains faithful forever” (v. 6). With full confidence in God and His Word, Christians take their civic responsibilities seriously. We jump into the fray, into the chaos and confusion of this sinful world, with God’s preserving and saving message of repentance and forgiveness, Law and Gospel, hope and help in the God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v. 5), the God who remains at work for you and for me. Here’s where to put your trust -- in the LORD who loves you, forgives you, and guides you in life now and forever.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give us wisdom to know and trust in You above all things. Then, each day, give us courage to live faithful and righteous lives toward others in your Name. AMEN.


[1] https://quotepark.com/quotes/1920289-g-k-chesterton-the-whole-modern-world-has-divided-itself-into-con/

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