"If I can reach [insert rank, promotion, status, etc. here] I'll have it made."
"If only my salary were [insert number here] then I wouldn't have to worry."
Over and over again, we see that these things don't satisfy in the end. For instance, Robin Williams seemed to have it all. He had fame and he had wealth - that much is undeniable. But it wasn't enough to keep his desire for life alive. He lost hope. Probably because his object of trust wasn't in the proper place. We, as a people, see this kind of story fairly regularly...yet, it doesn't seem to teach us anything. We still strive to make just that much more or become that much more reputable.
And I think this has been a trend throughout all of history. It is most likely the reason that David penned these words in Psalm 62:
Here David points out three different things that we should not put our trust in. When I first read this I didn't think it applied to me. I want nothing to do with oppression or robbery. But that is where in depth study comes in. This does apply to me, as it does to you and every single person who reads it.
So what three things are we to not put our trust in?
David points out that men of low degree as well as men of rank are no more than a breath. Adam Clarke puts it this way, "Common man can give no help...it is folly to trust in them, for although they may be willing, yet they have no ability to help you. 'Rich men are a lie.' They promise much, but perform nothing; they cause you to hope, but mock your expectation." It is so easy to become very cynical when it comes to man. So I feel the need to clarify that not all men are bad. There are good people out there. I promise. The point that David is trying to make here, I believe, is that men should not be the object of our trust, whether they are common folk or the extraordinarily rich or famous. God should be our object of trust. Not man.
David mentions oppression. Which puts an image in my mind of a slave owner, whip in hand, hollering out orders to men & women stooped over, barely able to stand on their own two feet anymore. But oppression is more than that. Google defines oppression as "the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control" or "mental pressure or distress." Does this sound familiar? I'm sure we've all experienced this type of oppression at one point in time or another. It can be seen in almost any work place. Big people stepping on the little people to get to where they want to be. Heads of companies treating those who work for them as ants because that's all they see - workers to get them ahead.
Humanity is a little bit power hungry, especially Americans. More and more we are taught from a very young age that it is all about "Me." I'm special, I'm a winner, etc. So when we're thrown into the real world, we do whatever it takes to make those words ring true. We step on friends and family to rise to the top and we never look back. Power becomes a source of trust. The more power gained, the better we feel...no matter what the cost. Again, God should be our object of trust. Not power.
David notes, If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. That advice is very hard to follow in today's world. Money brings comfort (or so we think). Some of us work two or three jobs just to get by. Others work two or three jobs so that they can afford to buy what they think they need. We put our trust in money. I think this is one of the easiest traps for Americans to fall into. Seriously. Our priorities need to be straightened out. Sometimes you have to ask the tough questions - would God want me taking this job so that we can make more? Or would He rather me use my time to strengthen our family and serve where He wants us? Is this job change something that I want? Or is it something God is leading me toward? We make a lot of hasty decisions when it comes to jobs and money because our trust is askew. Prayer should be the first thing we turn to when making financial or career decisions because our trust should be in God. After all, He has promised to take care of us.