In God We Trust
“Let them know they are only human.” -Psalm 9:20
“Let the nations know they are only human,” declares the poet in Psalm 9. This is not a slight against humanity, nor an excuse from doing the right thing, but it is a simple fact. There are those in the text that are so certain they are right, they are no longer listening to God or one another.
Their resistance is fear-based and politically-charged. They are fearful because the world they once knew is changing. They are politically-driven because they want a new ruler who is not God.
They represent perhaps that in all of us when we feel our lives are under threat. It is hard to have faith in such times. It is tempting to try and take matters into our own hands.
Keeping God in Perspective
The Bible is full of such stories. “Hey, why don’t you eat that piece of fruit, you’ll be like God (Genesis 3:1–5).” “Hey, let’s build a golden calf, worship it and have a big party (Exodus. 32:1–6)!” “Hey, let’s build something BIG that really shows off who we are. We’ll make a name for ourselves! (Genesis 11:1–9).” Those are just stories, right?
The God Who Sees All
Yet the poet in Psalm 9 has learned something about God through contemplation and experience. This truth cuts through all lesser bids for power and control. We might even say that this is how God defines power and control among the faithful when they are faithful. As he writes:
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold for people in trouble,
And those who know your name,
Put their trust in you.
For the needy shall not always
Nor the hope of the poor
Perish forever (Ps. 9:9–10, 18).
In God We Trust
It is God whom we can trust when we have no other. The God of the Bible is such an oddity in this way. No matter what news makes the headlines, no matter what power-plays are flashed across our screens, God will not be distracted from the care of the least ones of our world. To embody such care is to be haunted by the truth that to be human is to be humane.