Who Can You Trust?
Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
Psalm 62:9, 10
When the world shifts beneath your feet, on what or whom do you turn for help? What about in the mundane moments of life? On what do you set your hopes?
David not only exhorts his soul to trust in God alone, he identifies some of the things in which he had previously trusted and warns readers to recognize the futility of such trust.
Don’t depend on people for everything: Those of low estate are but a breath;
David knew from experience that today the crowds might be cheering but the next they are plotting. Jesus Himself experienced the flightiness of people. One day they waved palm branches, welcoming Him as King, the next they screamed Crucify Him! Finding our safety and identity in the shouts and flattery of the multitude is shaky ground.
Perhaps you put your faith and trust in government, politicians, the educated, the decision makers in our community, or country, or wealthy people who have the power to lift you up. David warns us this is like trusting in smoke.
Those of high estate are a delusion;
How many times have elected officials disappointed supporters? What about the educational system, entertainers, or star athletes? Perhaps your trust is in your employer, expecting fair treatment and advancement based on ability and experience. David tells us to lower our expectations because these people and institutions are flawed. Reliance on them disappoints us even more when they fail to deliver as promised.
What about wealth? Surely we can trust our investments to carry us through the rest of our days.
Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
David calls out those who oppress the poor, who lord their wealth and power over those less fortunate, and who do not use their wealth to help those less privileged. He condemns those who build up their portfolio with ill gotten gain and cheating others (individuals, employers, businesses) of their possessions. He doesn’t condemn saving and preparing for the future financially, but he warns us to do so with care. Work hard, save, and prepare, but be sure your hope is in God, not money. Understand that in a blink of an eye, all of it could be gone. Our great grandparents witnessed the crash of Wall Street in 1929. Those who put their trust in money quickly learned that trust was an illusion. Men killed themselves, concluding they had no hope without their money. Those who put their trust in God had a foundation on which to stand, able to go forward, trusting that the Lord would take care of them.
I admit, I am challenged by David’s cautions. Where is my heart? Is it solely resting on God as my Rock, Rest, Rescue, and Refuge? In the Treasury of David, Charles Spurgeon admonishes us:
The more we rely upon God, the more shall we perceive the utter hollowness of every other confidence. To be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Take a true estimate of them; judge them neither by quantity nor by appearance, but by weight, and they will no longer deceive you. Calmly deliberate, quietly ponder, and your verdict will be that which inspiration here records. Vainer than vanity itself are all human confidences: the great and the mean, alike, are unworthy of our trust. A feather has some weight in the scale, vanity has none, and creature confidence has less than that: yet such is the universal infatuation, that mankind prefer an arm of flesh to the power of the invisible but almighty Creator; and even God's own children are too apt to be bitten with this madness.
As we must not rest in men, so neither must we repose in money. Gain and fame are only so much foam of the sea. All the wealth and honour the whole world can afford would be too slender a thread to bear up the happiness of an immortal soul.
May each of us carefully ponder David’s wisdom and firm words. May we, too, command our souls with the words of David:
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
Oh Lord, may our prayer every minute of every day be, “For You alone my souls waits I silence. From you comes my salvation.”