Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are You In "Greener Pastures?"

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).

“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream … “ (Jeremiah 17: 5-8).

During a hurricane in Florida in 2004, 25-year-old Danny Williams went to seek protection under one of his favorite trees. But the tree fell on the shed and killed Williams. Sometimes, the places we think can give us security can pose extreme danger to our lives.

Today, it’s not uncommon for people to look for “greener pastures.” I don’t think that’s wrong in itself. God wants us blessed in our lives. But if it means to amass a lot of money or own possessions at the expense of honor or purity before God, then that kind of life doesn’t bring true satisfaction or purpose. I’m reminded of a poor American woman who left her family to marry a billionaire. Eventually, she found herself in a mess of problems. Her son died in his early 20s. She got hooked in drugs and sexual promiscuity. Law suits followed after her left and right. And finally, just in her 40s, she died a mysterious death.

Luke 12 comes into mind when Jesus told the story of an extremely wealthy man. Jesus called him a fool! It was not because he was so materially rich, but because he was not rich toward God. “Beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).

We also learn in the Bible of king Hezekiah who started good. But he repeated the sins of his father Ahaz by seeking security in an alliance with an alien power (2 Kings 16:7; Isaiah 36:6). Instead of rallying his people to trust in the Lord, he depended on human resources and power. By seeking help from Egypt, Hezekiah showed that he had failed to learn from history. He still committed the mistake of valuing the strength of Egypt over the strength of his Almighty God and Creator.

Trust and hope in God – that's the “greener pastures” of the real good life.