"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" Isaiah 2:22
When we give a man or woman the place in our life
that only God should have, we are in for a bitter disappointment. We
will soon learn that the best of men are men at best. Although they
might have some very fine qualities, yet they still have feet of iron
and clay. This may sound like cynicism, but it is not. It is realism.
When the invaders were threatening Jerusalem, the
people of Judah looked to Egypt for deliverance. Isaiah denounced them
for this misplaced trust, saying, "Lo, thou trustest in the staff of
this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his
hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh King of Egypt to all that trust in
And Jeremiah said later, under similar circumstances, "Thus saith the
Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm,
and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jer. 17:5).
The psalmist showed genuine insight on this
subject when he wrote, "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put
confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put
confidence in princes" (Psa. 118:8,9).
And again, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man in
whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his
earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa. 146:3,4).
Of course, we must realize that there is a
certain sense in which we have to trust one another. What would a
marriage be, for instance, without a certain measure of trust and
respect? In business life, the use of checks as money is based on a
system of mutual trust. We trust doctors to diagnose and prescribe
properly. We trust the labels on cans and packages in the food market.
It would be almost impossible to live in any society without some
confidence in our fellows.
The danger comes when we trust man to do what
only God can do, when we take the Lord off the throne and put man on
it. Anyone who displaces God in our affections, who takes His place as
our confidence, who usurps any of His prerogatives in our lives - that
one is certain to disappoint us bitterly. We will realize too late that
man is not worthy of our trust.