“He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.” (Psalm 33:15-22 NASB)
Growing up, the underlining message come from the economy, government, sports, and especially the media was that winners were always bigger, stronger, and faster. Tim Allen’s old television show, Home Improvement, typified this line of thinking. This has been instilled in us since the time we were banished from the Garden of Eden. The biggest army almost always dominated when it came to capturing towns and oppressing other nations.
Throughout the years we have leaned on that mindset to further ourselves and goals. We work harder, look to those who are successful, and mimic what they have done to become successful. Over time that mindset has bled into the church. We look to what is happening over the way so that we can become bigger, stronger, and faster. We will adopt those practices in the hope that it will build the church that shows everyone else that we are successful. Truthfully, too many churches are entirely too similar to a sport’s franchise.
Our text for today speaks against that line of thinking. God blesses His people and His churches. God not only blesses them, but He understands how man thinks and sinfully strives to be like God. As such God warns these same people not to depend on foolish strategies that makes others seem like they are bigger, stronger, and faster. God says these strategies or methods are false hope. What does that say about us and the churches we attend? Where are they leading us? What are our leaders depending on? What is their ultimate goal?
Our leaders and churches should remain fearful of the Lord and tread lightly as they move forward. Our only hope must remain on the the lovingkindness of our Triune God. He alone is the one who has delivered our souls from death and refreshes us through His Word and Sacraments. We are to turn away the strategies of man and remain faithful wait on God’s direction in how we are to function in this broken world. We are to be confident because he is our help and our shield. Where does our heart rejoice? In whom do we trust?
“For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.”
Patient and Loving Father, we come to you today humbly. We have looked to business plans and strategies to help us grow your kingdom and failed. Forgive us for trying to grow without you. Lord, we lean on you and you only. If it be your will, work through us to be servants and ambassadors of your steadfast love. Guide us to be your children redeemed by Your Son, Jesus Christ. Send your Holy Spirit to cultivate us to lean on Your teachings and to walk in Your Paths. Amen.