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Day 9

Hope in Who?

by Laurie Schlaepfer

Read Psalm 146:5

The most quoted campaign slogan in the 2008 presidential election was Got Hope? It seemed to capture a longing many people of every political party had that year: An upwelling of desire, of hope, that we might find a human leader to solve all our nations’ woes. Pundits on both sides talked about a messianic fervor. Even Barack Obama joked, “Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger.”

Of course this isn’t a new phenomenon. Since the dawn of humanity, people have looked with hope to charismatic, visionary, or powerful men — kings, princes, generals, revolutionaries, rabbis, popes, pastors, governors, presidents, or mutual fund managers! Sometimes human leaders do great things to benefit the people they govern, but just as often they deeply disappoint. Regardless, it’s foolish to place the full weight of our Hope (with a capital “H”) on a human leader.

As C.S. Lewis writes:

Never, never pin your whole faith [or hope] on any human being; not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand; but do not try building a house on it.

Psalm 146 reminds us that even powerful people are ultimately powerless. They certainly can’t save me, because they are powerless to save themselves from the destiny of all mankind — the grave. As the prophet Isaiah concurs:

[God] brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. [Isaiah 40:23–24]

Only the Immortal One can ultimately save me. He is the Maker of the heavens and the earth, the One who sustains the universe and all life, the Faithful One. He actually has the power to right all wrongs, solve all problems, and make all things new. And He has already conquered the grave. Compared to the Lord, the most powerful “prince” looks like a little child playing dress up!

Question to Consider

How have I placed too much hope in a mere human: a politician, a pastor, a teacher, a girlfriend or boyfriend, even the ideal of a husband or wife?


Lord, help me redirect my Hope away from people and toward You!