In a day and age of fake news, distrust in political leaders, and an overall breakdown of integrity in our homes, churches, and nation, where can we look to find true help? Where can we rest our confidence? Where can we find truth, dependability, and true care for our needs? The Word of God gives us clear answers.
In today’s reading in Proverbs, we find examples of actions that breed mistrust and can lead to breakdowns in relationships with others. We read in vv. 17-20- “Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbor’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow. Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint. As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon the nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.” Within this life we will encounter all sorts of people as described in these verses- intrusive people, lying people, unfaithful people, insensible people. If we are not on guard, we may be guilty of any one of these ourselves. These character defects lead to a breakdown in our trust of others and the ability of others to trust in us. It is difficult to find help from those whom you cannot trust. We must be reminded, however, that our help is not found in others, nor is it found in ourselves. So where can we find help in times of need?
Our reading from the Psalms points us in the right direction. Psalm 123:1-2 say- “Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.” When the Psalmist was in a place of need, he didn’t look within for help. He didn’t look without at others or at his circumstances for help. Rather, he looked unto the Lord. So often we turn to earthly sources for help or for mercy when what we need is a dose of heavenly mercy and help. Just as a servant is looking to the hands of his master, so we ought to look to the Lord with submission, dependence, and a readiness to respond to His leading in our life. The Psalmist refused to look away. He waited patiently persevered in looking to God for help. He kept his focus on God waiting for an outpouring of His mercy.
Where do we look in time of need? Inward, outward, or heavenward? True help can only come when we keep our eyes fixed heavenward towards the Lord our God.