By David P. Brown
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Trust is from the Hebrew word chasah, meaning “to take refuge.” Refuge is defined to be “shelter or protection from danger or distress; a place that provides shelter or protection; a means of resort for help in difficulty” (Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary).
One of the terrible weaknesses of fleshly Israel was their seeking shelter or protection in human helpers. Spiritual Israel, the church, shares the same weakness. The psalmist instructs the spiritually minded to seek “shelter or protection from danger or distress” “in the Lord.”
Too often we allow this admonition to go unheeded. We make friends too quickly with those whom we presume to be dedicated to New Testament Christianity. Later we sadly find that such walk in the commandments and doctrines of men. Council is sought from those we have too hastily trusted in. We learn too late that they are betrayers. We are deceived by the great swelling words of vain men into thinking that they are the stalwarts of the faith. Too late we find their true nature to be like sepulchres that are outwardly white, but inwardly are filled with corruption. One of the first things a babe in Christ should learn is to be exceedingly slow in trusting men.
Take advice from men only as it corresponds with God’s Word. Never be surprised or hindered when those who give sound advice do not follow it when they are under fire from Satan. They too are subject to fleshly frailties. Always remember that no matter how dedicated men seem to be, many of them will selfishly commit or omit anything in order to save themselves. Satan described many people when he answered God concerning the faithfulness of Job, saying, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life” (Job. 2:4).
Paul admonished, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” and “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (Eph. 5:15; 1 Tim. 5:22). We close with the words of a Gospel song that echoes the sentiment of Psalm 118:8.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you,
Ye dare not trust your own
Put on the gospel armor, and
Watching unto prayer,
Where duty calls or danger,
Be never wanting there.
- David P. Brown, Spring, TX; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org