August 2, 2017
Psalm 118:8-9 - It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
Many years ago, I watched as our neighbors packed their van for what was to be a two-week vacation. It was absolutely amazing the amount of stuff a husband, wife, and their three beautiful, little girls needed to survive the fortnight. As mom and dad went in to round up the last of the expedition's supplies, I wandered across the street to visit with the girls who were already buckled in.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"On vacation," came the unisoned reply.
"And just where are you going?" This time there was a pause before the youngest ventured a tentative, "We're going on vacation." The two older girls looked at each other before they admitted they didn't know exactly where it was they were going on vacation. They just knew they were going with mom and dad, and that meant it was going to be all right.
A week ago, authorities investigated an 18-wheeler trailer which was parked behind a San Antonio, Texas, Wal-Mart. Inside that un-air-conditioned trailer they found eight dead bodies. Along with the deceased, there were another 30 individuals who were suffering from exhaustion and heat stroke. Of the 30, 20 were rushed to seven hospitals were they were admitted in critical or very critical condition.
Richard Durbin who is the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas said, "These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters ... They were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo."
So there you have it. Two stories of people who were excited to be going on a trip. They have a lot in common. For example, both were passengers, not drivers; both were not exactly sure where they were going, and both had to rely completely on someone else if they were to get safely to their destination.
Indeed, there is only one real difference between these tales: while the girls put their faith in someone who could be trusted, the people held captive in the trailer had relied on people who simply didn't care whether they lived or died.
There's a lesson here for humanity, and it's not the first time the lesson has been taught.
Turn to the opening chapters of Genesis and you will see our first parents, Adam and Eve. They had been given anything -- everything they could have wanted. Sadly, they turned away from their Maker and put their trust in someone else. It was a tragic and fatal choice: a wrong choice which continues to be repeated, a wrong choice which leads to hell.
So, what shall we learn? First, foremost and always, we should learn, if you're going to put your life into the hands of someone else, make sure it is someone you can trust. When it comes to salvation, there is no one -- that is no one -- who has earned our trust like the Triune God. His faithfulness, His compassion, His redemption are the things that will safely get us to our destination.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are many voices that try to steal our trust from You. May we have the wisdom and faith to reject their summons and remain faithful to You. Let us look to the cross and the empty tomb and remember who it is who has saved us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Jim Forsyth on July 23, 2017 for Raw Story, Reuters. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries