From Jim O'Brien
October 19, 2018

Who Do You Trust?

Hi Friend,

There is a reason King David wrote, "Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save." (Psalm 146:3) As a mere teenager David faced a twelve foot giant in hand to hand combat as the Israelite army watched the battle from a distant hill-the only sound being the clanking of armor on trembling bodies.

But this wasn't the first time David had faced an enemy alone. While tending sheep for his father he encountered a mountain lion attacking a lamb and David killed the lion with his bare hands. On another occasion, the sheep were feeding in a remote pasture and David killed a hungry ferocious bear all by himself. There was no army or prince to back him up.

Maybe that's why, years later, God became angry with David for numbering Israel. It was a betrayal of the One who had always fought David's battles for him. Why would David change and begin trusting in the size of his army that had frequently shown fickle support?

There's a lesson in these experiences for the United States.

Something in man leans toward trusting the big and powerful even though the history of free countries is filled with examples of the small overcoming the powerful. From the time Elizabeth I defeated the Spanish Armada, through America's victory over the British in the Revolutionary War, and until Winston Churchill stood alone in opposition to Nazi oppression, free nations have demonstrated an ability to defeat superior opponents. True freedom has always meant trusting in God for deliverance.

It should make us question why we are tempted to trust conventional wisdom-which is so often neither.

That thought came to mind again as I read a new book which says George Washington died as a result of medical intervention. Doctors "bled" him four times, weakening his ability to fight the flu. Then they filled him with laxatives draining remaining strength as well as increasing his discomfort. Eventually his body simply gave up and died. He conquered armies and diseases but not the medical establishment.

If you think such cases are isolated you're wrong. American Heritage Magazine ran an article a few years ago saying Abraham Lincoln was not killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth shot the bullet from a small caliber weapon that lacked sufficient power to do real damage. There were people then, and people today, who have survived such brain injuries and lived many more years.

Modern research has concluded that it was actually the doctors who probed Lincoln's brain five times in an effort to extract the bullet that killed the President. It was like five more bullets entering his brain. Had they left him alone he probably would have recovered.

This isn't an attack on doctors or medicine. It is a realistic question about what man is prone to trust. After all, some people make a compelling claim that more people die from medical error than from any other cause.

So many things in America have grown big: business, government, education, medicine-just about everything we trust is BIG! We tend to forget that we are dwarfed by enemies. We are 300 million people but the Muslims are almost 2 BILLION-and they have declared war against us. The Chinese communists are over 1.3 billion and they are increasing their military strength. And then there are the Russians.

Why are Americans trusting in what is big?

Have we become like King David who temporarily lost his trust in God and numbered Israel? If so, we should look at the words God spoke to His servant Zechariah, "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit' says the Lord Almighty." (Zechariah 14:6)

America began with a few people who trusted in the Spirit of God. It worked for our founders and it's our best hope for the future!

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien