MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (January 18, 2021)

Have you, like me, been troubled by the events that have occurred in our political system over the past few years? There has been great unrest in our nation for some time now, culminating in the riots that we saw a couple of weeks ago in Washington, D.C. Is your mind troubled like mine over what we have seen? If so, then I have one word for you: HALLELUJAH! PRAISE YE THE LORD!

Maybe you’re puzzled by this exclamation; maybe you ask, “Bro. Chris, how can you possibly shout ‘hallelujah’ in the face of such troubled times? Have you lost your mind?

The answer is that I CANNOT shout with such joy when my focus is on the events going on around me. Truly if I focus on the world, I would remain depressed and ultimately have no desire even to leave my house! But the word of God teaches us about a DIFFERENT way to look at things.

In Ps. 146, the Psalmist writes:

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2 While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

10 The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Notice that he starts out at the place where every facet of our lives should start: PRAISE THE LORD! The Hebrew word used here is the word from which we derive our term “hallelujah”, and it simply means to celebrate, praise, or boast in the Lord. And this praise should be offered from the depth of our souls: Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Immediately after pointing us to the greatness of God, the psalmist reminds us of the weakness of man: Put not your trust in princes. (v. 3). Too many people today have placed their hope and trust in the princes of this world. Beloved friends, let me assure you that the princes of this world will let you down! In fact, the very reason for most of the turmoil in our nation today is that too many people have placed their hopes in politics and the powers of this world. The rulers of this world will always disappoint you! Why? Because they are mortals whose lives are fleeting! The presidents of today are in the history books tomorrow, and can no longer help. “His breath goeth forth, he returned to his earth” – that is, all politicians eventually go the way of all the earth, and pass away.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m thankful to live in a country where citizens can engage in the political process! That has not always been the case for God’s people. Often the Kingdom of God has been in bondage by pharaohs, kings, and empires. We are blessed to live in the greatest nation that has ever existed, in my opinion. But let us not forget that ultimately it is God and not the rulers even of our nation that we can look to for help.

In these troubled times, let us do what we can to stand for biblical values and promote the health of our republic. But let us never be guilty of looking to the leaders or politicians even of this great nation for our help. When we place our hope in princes, we will ALWAYS be disappointed! But when we place our hope and trust in God, we will be able to face the troubles before us and exclaim, “HALLELUJAH! PRAISE YE THE LORD!”

May the Lord bless you today and every day.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor