Heroes; October 4, 2019

Psalm 146:5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,

After two verses of introductory praise to God, this anonymous Psalm focuses on the contrast between depending on people, putting our hope in them, and depending on God. We tend to focus on people we can see, which is where the whole Superhero genre of literature came from. However, as verses three and four point out, people die, and that’s that. That’s why the course of true blessing is placing our hope in God and depending on Him. In the polytheistic world of the day, the writer specifies “the God of Jacob” to make it very clear who he is talking about. Today there are not only other religions, people tend to place their hope in technology or some other form of human intellect. There has certainly been massive technological progress, but ultimately all of that is material and temporal and will pass away. True security comes only in the One who is outside of time, who created the entire material universe and who, for some inexplicable reason, loves and cares about each one of us. We are to be grateful for the many ways God blesses us, and for the human instruments He often uses to do so, but our focus needs to be on Him rather than on any human individual. We love heroes, but the Son of God is the only one truly worthy of that title.

I think I am hardly unusual in having fantasized about being a hero, and not just in my youth. I have daydreamed about having super powers, or of being so mightily anointed by God that demons would flee when I just walked into a room. I have had to come to terms with the reality that I’m no hero, while at the same time remembering that God is big enough and powerful enough to use me, as easily as He can use someone else. Men have an innate drive to accomplish things, and that desire hasn’t gone away with age. However, my definition of accomplishment has shifted, and I am grateful. At this point, I want to be available for whatever tasks the Lord has for me, whether they are “within my ability” or not, so that His will may be done in and through me. I have deep joy in recognizing when I’ve met a “divine appointment,” being in the right place at the right time to say or do something God wanted said or done. At the same time, I recognize that it is very risky for anyone to depend on me, because I am as fallible as anyone. God has given me a message for this coming Sunday on being a model that people can imitate for their benefit, but I will never be a perfect model. I am to keep my hope in God and teach others to do likewise, because that is the only “sure thing.”

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You that I could be there yesterday for Cathy when she had the sudden severe pain that took her to the hospital in an ambulance. The fact that the pain eventually subsided without their ever identifying the cause is an indication that this is yet more spiritual warfare. Help us indeed keep on all the armor You provide, (Ephesians 6:13-18) so that we may be fully effective in resisting the devil (James 4:7) and destroying his works, (1 John 3:8) for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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