Read Psalm 146
Focus on verse 3
It’s election time again. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it campaign season. I’m no expert in governmental matters, but I have made an observation in regard to the process here in the US of A. When it takes a full eighteen months to wind up the election machine simply to elect a new president, the machine has grown too large and unwieldy. I suspect that the bottom line in all this is that there is way too much money involved. I have no idea what the actual numbers are, but I suspect that if we totaled up the money that is spent in campaign advertising, the money spent on hiring personnel to manage all the different campaigns, the money the media makes on the process, and all the money private individuals spend on campaigning for their favorite candidates, I suspect it would pay off a significant chunk of our national debt. The reason there is so much money involved in the selection of the next round of politicians, is that there is so much money that will be at the discretion of the people who end up in power. In western society, it would appear that money equals influence, and influence equals power, and power equals control, and control equals more money to buy more influence so that the control, power, and money stays in the hands of the people who currently have the money.
When there is so incredibly much power at stake, corruption is never far behind. There is a saying that I believe is true. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. No human being is exempt of this truth. The wisest leaders among us have been careful distribute the power among numerous individuals whose job it is to keep each other honest.
There is a strange phenomenon that occurs in each election cycle. People tend to put their trust in the candidate of their choice, believing that this one will be different. This one will fix the problems that the nation is experiencing only to experience disappointment when the new administration turns out to have essentially the same faults and failures that the previous one had. Then along comes another election cycle and we do it all over again. That being said, the way the founders of this democratic republic set things up are still one of the best systems of government known to man even with all its faults. The problem is not the system. The problem is a human one. The problem is we put too much trust in human leaders. The expectations are not realistic because there are no perfect leaders. There are some who are better and some who are worse, but none are perfect, and all are subject to corruption at some level.
The psalmist was apparently aware of this as he writes, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation” (v. 3). In the remainder of the psalm he urges the reader to put his or her trust in God alone, who is perfect and who can save us. Who sets the prisoner free and opens the eyes of the blind. The wise human leader recognizes that it is the Lord who reigns over all generations and submits to God by ruling according to God’s character and principles. King David was such a leader. He was not perfect but he was called “a man after God’s own heart”. What made David a great leader was not his personality or his wisdom, though he had both, it was that he pursued God with all his heart. This was the quality that made him trustworthy, and as a result while under his rule, the people followed God, rather than a man. Perhaps this would be a good thing to remember as we go into yet another round of elections in the next fourteen months…”Do not put your trust in princes”. Remember that it is God who reigns, whether we acknowledge Him or not, He is the one who raises leaders up and brings others down. When we put our trust in God, we trust in One who is truly able to save us.