From the editor: February 28, 2014

Choose This Day: Man or the God-Man

Today's Old Testament reading from The St. James Daily Devotional Guide is timely:

Thus says the Lord:

"Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm... He shall not see any good come....

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water..." (Jer. 17:5-7)

This either/or statement is like many of Jesus' teachings: You cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot serve two masters.

The Capital Building
The Capital Building

In this case, a man (or I would add, a nation) either trusts in the abilities of man alone for his well-being and future, or he trusts in the Lord of Man. When our leaders make a decision, what is their criteria? Is Man the measure of Man or is Man the Image of God?

This is a fundamental spiritual and earthly reality: man IS a spiritual being, made body and soul by God. He is made for dependence upon God for moral reasoning, wise conduct, just treatment of his neighbors. If we are tempted to think that we as individuals or as a nation can, in our human reasoning apart from God, execute justice, live in peace, and rightly order our lives, we would be sadly and tragically deluded. A Public Square devoid of God is a public square open to the demonic. (Witness many American court "rulings" over the many decades.)

Why can't we have a just and righteous naked public square by all of us just "following our hearts"? Jeremiah explains why we will "not see any good come" of this in verse 9, one of the most important verses in Holy Scripture:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?" (v. 9)

Thus, "Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation." (Ps. 146:3) The remedy? "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed." (v. 14) And the Healer of Man is the God-Man Jesus Christ. We must look up, if we are not to fall down! He is there, searching the mind, trying the heart. (v. 10). He tell us what he finds, so we can change. Thank God for that.

—James M. Kushiner