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Friday, January 19, 2018

Do not trust in princes (Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 146)

Now that I've finished blogging through the book of Galatians and Martin Luther's commentary on it, I've returned in my personal time with the Lord to the Psalms and Charles Spurgeon's wonderful commentary called The Treasury of David. I say "returned" because in 2016 I was reading them every day during an intense time of repentance before the Lord and restoration with him. I want to see them again now through new eyes, remembering how the Holy Spirit ministered to me and applying them again to my heart. And I'd like to share some of them here with you...

As I read Psalm 146 and Spurgeon’s comments on it, I was thinking about how prone we are to look to people in authority to fix things for us, or become depressed because they are more a part of the problem than the solution. One prayer I have in this bizarre political world that exists right now, for example, is that Christians will realize just how futile it is for us to place our hope in getting the right candidates into office or the right laws into effect.  And I pray that God will use the sins and failures of leaders, including my own, to cause us all to put more and more of our faith in God, and less and less in human beings…

3 Do not trust in princes,
In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
5 How 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.

Here are some great Spurgeon quotes on that passage:

Verse 3. “Do not trust in princes.” If David be the author this warning comes from a prince. In any case it comes from the Spirit of the living God. Men are always far too apt to depend upon the great ones of earth, and forget the Great One above; and this habit is the fruitful source of disappointment. Princes are only men, and men with greater needs than others; why, then, should we look to them for aid? They are in greater danger, are burdened with greater cares, and are more likely to be misled than other men; therefore, it is folly to select them for our confidence. Probably no order of men have been so false to their promises and treaties as men of royal blood. So live as to deserve their trust, but do not burden them with your trust. “In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” Though you should select one son of man out of the many, and should imagine that he differs from the rest and may be safely depended on, you will be mistaken. There is none to be trusted, no, not one. Adam fell; therefore lean not on his sons. Man is a helpless creature without God; therefore, look not for help in that direction. All men are like the few men who are made into princes, they are more in appearance than in reality, more in promising than in performing, more apt to help themselves than to help others. How many have turned away heartsick from men on whom they once relied!

Verse 6. [Put your hope in the Lord…] “Who made heaven, and earth, the sea and all that is in them.” Wisely may we trust our Creator: justly may we expect to be happy in so doing. He who made heaven can make a heaven for us, and make us fit for heaven. He who made the earth can preserve us while we are on earth, and help us to make good use of it while we sojourn upon it. He who made the sea and all its mysteries can steer us across the pathless deeps of a troubled life, and make it a way for his redeemed to pass over. This God who still makes the world by keeping it in existence is assuredly able to keep us to his eternal kingdom and glory. The making of the worlds is the standing proof of the power and wisdom of that great God in whom we trust. It is our joy that he not only made heaven, but the sea; not only things which are bright and blessed, but things which are deep and dark. Concerning all our circumstances, we may say the Lord is there. In storms and hurricanes the Lord reigneth as truly as in that great calm which rules the firmament above.

From Spurgeon, Charles H.. The Treasury of David: Charles Spurgeon Commentary on Psalms. Kindle Edition.

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