As we approach the end of a rather horrendous year, many people are looking forward to 2021. It is natural to hope that somehow a new year, a new number, will bring better days. But the calendar will never be our savior. No, our Savior is the One who is beyond time and space and is eternal. So with the Psalmist David we pray: “I trust in You, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:14–15).
Now that the presidential election appears to be a done deal, many are hoping a new administration will be our savior (while others fear that it will be our demise). But government is not our savior—God is. Government is God’s servant which He can and does use for our good. “There is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God. . . he is God’s servant for your good” (Romans 13:1–4). We are to “honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17) and at the same time realize that Jesus is the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15) and that as the Prince of peace “the government shall be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).
Now that vaccines are becoming available to combat COVID-19 (including the Pfizer one made right here in Portage, Mich.), many are hoping that this will be the great panacea against the pandemic, and finally bring our lives back to some sense of normalcy. But science is not our savior—God is. God is the One who makes possible scientific discoveries and technology. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:10). God desires that we keep our human achievement and developments in perspective, and not try to “make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4) like those who built the tower of Babel, or take all the credit ourselves for our achievements like Nebuchadnezzar did (Daniel 4:3) or Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:21–23), both of whom God severely humbled.
Physicians and modern medicine per se are not our savior, but God can use them as His servants for our good. Yes, God was displeased with King Asa who, when suffering disease, did not seek help from the Lord but turned only to physicians (2 Chronicles 16:12). Likewise, the woman with chronic bleeding who “suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26) was healed only when she personally encountered the Great Physician, Jesus Christ. But in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the hero treated the wounded man with what they had in those days as medicine (“oil and wine” – Luke 10:34) and basically took him to the hospital. Likewise, James tells us in addition to praying for the sick to “anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).
We’ve all been under a whole lot of stress for various reasons over a rather long period of time. It’s very understandable that we would be looking for someone or something to come to our rescue, bring an end to our suffering, and be our savior. But as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we know who our Savior is, and we need not look for another (or doubt in any way the One we have). May you and I, by the power of the Holy Spirit, give glory to God and trust in Him to come to our aid through whatever means He chooses to use. Be it direct intervention, or indirect invention, all the while we praise God and with the psalmist say: “You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth” (Psalm 65:5).
Photo © Gino SM/Lightstock