Psalm 20.7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Katrina has consumed our national energy and attention, as well it should. This is a catastrophe of enormous proportion. It has drawn from our hearts and souls the deepest of compassion and concern.
But it has also revealed something else. We are a nation that has come to trust in chariots and horses. Media, leaders, bloggers, citizens – people everywhere are crying out in accusation of the government and human effort. “What failure! Where were they when they were needed? What took them so long? What incredible incompetence!”
Undoubtedly we need to take stock of the situation and in humility admit failure and seek to find improvements. This is always appropriate, for indeed, even in the best of efforts, there is room for improvement.
But Katrina has shown our failure as a nation, as a culture, as a people, to remember the name of the Lord our God. Instead of immediately looking to Him, a very present help in trouble, we called upon big government. Our attention was on our leaders and natural provision. We showed our trust to be in human kind and our own institutions rather than God, in the created being rather than the creator, in ourselves rather than someone much bigger and greater. We have fallen prey to humanism. It has stripped us of trust in Him and we now mistakenly trust in man. It has taken us for a ride, played the hoax, and we have drifted far downstream away from the true source of help in trouble.
And now we look for someone to blame. If our hope is in man’s inventions, there will always be a ready scapegoat. Man is always susceptible to blame since he will always fail. God alone is able to be a sure hope and defense.
True, God uses human agencies. But those agencies are totally in His hand, completely dependent upon Him, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Without His aid they are moving in their own limited strength. In times like these this nation, this great but limited nation, needs more; we need His strength. Our feeble horses and chariots are no longer to be trusted.
So now He is waiting for us to turn to Him once again. Meanwhile He will let us experience disaster apart from Him. In His mercy He will let us see what existence is like without Him. In His mercy He will cause us to return to Him before eternity has settled upon us – eternity apart from Him.