Think About This: “Nothing is more profitable than dwelling on familiar truths. Was there ever a good man who did not believe that it was better to trust in Jehovah than rely on any created arm?” — William S. Plumer
“God, I Don’t Like It Here…”
Posted on October 27, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“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.” – Psalm 118:8-9 (KJV)
On April 28, 1559, a 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth, through The Act of Uniformity, would require that the common citizenry attend the Church of England… England’s Reformation finally took root!! By August of 1620, Separatists were setting sail from Plymouth Sound and were leaving England for what they thought was Virginia. A storm would blow this ship northward and when it finally came to shore in November, The Mayflower had landed in Massachusetts. These Separatists, or “Puritans” (as history would later call them), were not ready for the harsh winter that awaited them and even though they were a hardy, courageous, and well-organized group, half of them died in the months after their arrival.
Before they decided to leave the Mayflower in 1621, 41 men came into agreement and signed what is called The Mayflower Compact. The document stated that from that moment on, their new colony would glorify God and advance the Christian cause and consequently made the church the center of not only their spiritual life, but their social life as well. Though the first few years nearly destroyed the Puritans, by 1628, the towns of Salem and Boston were established. Boston was looked upon as a “city on a hill.” Its reputation was to be able to have self-governing churches; a very Calvinistic Massachusetts General Court made church membership mandatory. Twenty thousand Puritans would come over from England and spread themselves out over The Connecticut River Valley.
It’s not totally verbatim, but that’s what I got from a book titled How God Saved Civilization by James L. Garlow. When I went looking to see if there was another person who, like Abram, left their native country, their relatives, and their father’s family, and went to the land that YHVH would show them, the search began with a question: “How did Abraham get to be in the Hall of Faith?” (Hebrews 11:8-10) Just because he had it accounted to him as righteousness? Didn’t the writer of Hebrews ever bother to check Genesis 15? Even though YHVH repeats His promise in vs 1, isn’t there a hint of boo-hoo-hoo in vs 2? And then it struck me… Abram may have been doubting YHVH’s promise to him, but it didn’t break the vertical connection to Him.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” – Hebrews 11:8-10
Unlike the Puritans, who made covenants among themselves to ensure God’s promise on their lives YHVH, Himself, made a covenant with Abram. The part I leave out in the history timeline starting from Queen Elizabeth I, to a Puritan population explosion in America, is one simple fact… like we read in the Book of Judges, the next generation after the Puritans did “what was right in their own eyes” and had a no desire to carry on in their forefather’s covenants. That was not the case for Abram because of this… The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional because YHVH established it and He didn’t need Abram’s input, just his obedience, and because of this, it is accounted to him as righteousness. This is why Psalm 118:8 is clear when we read, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
So, with my question on how does Abraham make it into the “Hall of Faith” answered, I wonder why we struggle so much with our own confidence in people. It’s not like everyone I meet is going to fail me at some point, but who am I that I should expect them not to do so, or better yet, be dismayed at them when it does happen. And not everyone should think that “the grass is greener on the other side” either and set sail for a better situation. I ponder over these words from Russell Moore (former President of the Ethics and Religious Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention), “To think that we deserve to live in different times is to tell God that we deserve a better mission field than the one He has given us.” If this didn’t punch you in the nose hard enough, then maybe you need to check your vertical connection.
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6