I just finished book #2 in a series called "Chronicles of the Kings" (or something like that). It's a series based on the kings of the Old Testament. The book I just finished last night was about King Hezekiah. In this book he has just become king and decided to make major reforms in his kingdom. Judah had given herself over to rampant idolatry which had caused them to be slaves to another nation (Assyria). I'm finding so many parallels to our times (thinking of the financial crisis in particular).
Hezekiah committed himself to follow God's laws unswervingly in the face of opposition (and in the face of "common sense"). I am struck with how often (most often) God's ways simply don't make sense to us, but His ways are best (higher, greater, wiser). Throughout Israel's history God's ways don't make human sense, but when they trusted in Him and His ways, they were delivered. Think about the Exodus from Egypt, about Joshua facing Jericho (marching around the walls? C'mon! You gotta be kidding!), David facing Goliath, and the examples go on and on.
Toward the end of the book Hezekiah is faced with some choices as to how to defend his kingdom against impending attack from the Assyrians. Should he send tribute to them? Should he marshall his forces, build up his troops and weapons? Make sure the city's water supply is taken care of? God confronts him thorugh the prophet Isaiah, who tells him that first and foremost he should rely on God.... not on man's wisdom, not on military might, not on natural resources. He does this and the Assyrians leave!
I've been pondering all this today. I just read in Proverbs 3, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Then in Jeremiah 17.... "Cursed is the man who trusts in man (then a description of the man who trusts in man... a dried up bush in the desert), but Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord (described as a tree planted by streams of water).
With our current financial crisis, with all the stuff we face, with "global warming" and so many other crises. What will I choose? What will we choose? Go with Hezekiah's God (and our God!) and be a tree planted by streams of water (bearing fruit, not withering) OR - Go with man's wisdom and be like a dried up bush in the desert?
I want to be the tree.