11 January 2022

In God We Trust

Just in case one thinks this will be about slogans on coins and bills, this isn't about money. This is about who we trust.  When it comes to very important matters, those we trust become very important as well.

As time passes, you should learn that people and their institutions are not very trustworthy. Too many expect the local store to always operate in ways that make customers happy, but a business can't do that consistently.  Sometimes inflation intervenes, wages rise, and prices go up. If a customer has a fixed income, that isn't the store's problem and you can't trust the store or its owners/managers/employees to make sure the price of goods are always affordable for you.

The larger problem is that people are expecting far too much in almost every way from every external source.  Physicians must provide painless and complete heath. Governments must provide large assets (such as houses) at no or little cost to citizens.  God must punish the wicked immediately and rain down personal happiness, protection, and joy constantly, obedience notwithstanding. Many people have become very demanding of cures for every ill and that someone else must make the cure happen for them.

As a priest of the Hebrew God, I often concern myself with what people expect from my God. Larger than that and more importantly, I promulgate the concept that God expects behavior and devotion from us and he has already specified what the rewards will be.  The biggest problem is that, for a growing number of people, God's promises are simply not sufficient for them.

We don't command God, or rather we shouldn't, yet this is how most people approach him, with demands. God is treated like a butler and, if you happen to be a bit more obedient to his commandments, the modern person expects more reliable or more responsive butlering. This is the quick road to atheism, its spiritualist variants, or throwing oneself at demonism.

For the most part, humanity is "firing" God, setting up their own alternate deities in the form of communities or governments. This was all prophesied long ago, but many can't see it. The problem is more about people who want everything without a cost in money or effort and has little to do with God at all. When one rejects God, God lets one be on their own. When enough people reject God and chase their own demon-inspired ends, we get the mess we are in today and worse and it is not God's problem to fix.

What is the antidote? Return to God and trust him. If one keeps the commandments of Christ, one will have a more guided life, which brings more joy than tears - not exclusively, but more often. I have little hope in the heavenly redemption of nations at this point, but there is certainly the opportunity still for individuals and families to embrace a trust in God and his promises to the obedient.  Put your trust in God!