Don’t Put Confidence in Man, Ps 118:8-9

Many Christians have a news source from which they keep up with domestic and international news.  Often these news sources give you stories to persuade you to believe that the persons about whom they are reporting are either harmful or beneficial to good policy.  They either want you to support them and their policies or disdain them and their policies.  And you are inclined to believe the reports and trust that the “good guys” will help the causes you support and the “bad guys” will oppose the causes you support.  And so you are confident that if the “good guys” are running things, making the policy decisions and holding the political offices, all will be well.

According to Ps 118:8-9, we shouldn’t put confidence in the “good guys” or the “bad guys.”  “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.  It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.”  Don’t put confidence in men because:

Men will turn on you – 2 Ki 10:1-7 – Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria.  After he died and his son Ahaziah died, his son Joram reigned.  Jehu killed Joram.  And then, according to the word of the Lord, the other sons of Ahab were to die also.  Jehu sent to the men of Samaria and told them to set one of Ahab’s sons on the throne and get ready to fight.  They wouldn’t do it.  Instead, they complied with Jehu’s second request to kill all the sons, behead them and send their heads in baskets to Jezreel.  These men that did this included the man that was over the house, the man that was over the city, the elders, and the men who had brought up the sons.  Those seventy sons couldn’t count on one man to defend them.  They all turned on them.

Men will betray you – Jer 41:1-7 – After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, his captain, Nebuzaradan put Gedaliah in charge of the city.  He was loyal to the Chaldeans.  Many returned to Jerusalem after this, among whom was Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah [Jer 40:8].  In Jer 40:13-14, Johanan warned Gedaliah that Ishmael was sent to slay him, but he didn’t believe him.  Nevertheless, in seven months, Ishmael killed Gedaliah and all the Jews that were with him.  Plus, he slew eighty more men who came from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria after pretending to weep with them.

Men will rob you – Gen 30:31-43 – Jacob made a deal with Laban to work for hire after working fourteen years for his two wives.  The deal was that he would only keep for himself the speckled and spotted goats and the brown sheep.  Of course, Jacob knew the genetics of these animals and by controlled breeding he essentially ended up with the flock after his six year breeding program.  Laban had confidence that, based on his experience with Jacob, he could amass greater wealth through this deal.  Instead, Jacob ended up with everything.

Men will deceive you – Gen 34:10-29 – Shechem took Dinah and lay with her [Gen 34:2].  When the sons of Jacob found out about this, they made a deal with the men of Shalem that if they would be circumcised then they would agree to a marriage between Shechem and Dinah and they would be peaceable with the inhabitants of the land.  The men agreed.  Yet, three days after they were circumcised, Simeon and Levi attacked them and killed all the males and took all the spoil.  

Conclusion: these are just a few examples of the things men will do to you when you put your confidence in them.  You and I are to trust the Lord, because he said so and because he is trustworthy.  Men are not trustworthy.  God can direct you to men through whom he can help you.  But even then your confidence should be in the Lord, not in men.  So, don’t put confidence in men.  They can never fix a problem like God can.