Ungodly Alliances: Relying on the Flesh and Rejecting God
One of the most tragic things any believer can do is to refuse to trust in God but instead put all one’s faith and hope in mere men. This is a perennial temptation for God’s people, and the Bible speaks to it often. The Old Testament for example is full of warnings against it, and frightening examples of it.
Often the kings of Israel were tempted to form unholy alliances with pagan kings for security and protection, instead of trusting in Yahweh alone. This was warned against early on in Israel’s history. For example we find this in Exodus 23:31-32:
“I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.”
Or as we see repeated in Exodus 34:10-12:
Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.”
Plenty of Psalms speak to this as well:
-Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
-Psalm 40:4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
-Psalm 56:11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
-Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
-Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
-Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
-Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.
The prophets also spoke to this often, for example:
-Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!
-Jeremiah 17:5-8 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
In the narrative portions of the OT we find too many sad examples of this. Consider just one, involving King Asa as recorded in 2 Chronicles 16:1-10
In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah. Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.” Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah. At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.
This is a very damning indictment of those who turn away from the Lord and put their trust in men. It is a dangerous and losing policy every time. As Leslie Allen comments:
Again crisis had been an opportunity to prove God but this time faith had been put in human aid. The wrong emergency button was pressed. The Chronicler seems to have in mind Isaiah 10:20, which speaks of relying (NKJV “depend”) on God instead of Assyria. Isaiah regarded reliance on foreign aid a besetting sin of the Judean monarchy (Isa. 30:1-2, 31:1) and Hosea had earlier berated the northern kingdom for this perversity (Hos. 7:8-12; 14:3). In God’s nation, where religion and politics were one, human expediency was a denial of true faith and a switch from God to humanity as the object of trust.
Of course modern nations today do not have the same covenant relationship with Yahweh as ancient Israel did. Thus I am not here saying it is always sinful when nations today align with other nations in various types of security pacts or treaties (NATO, eg). There may be a place for this, and at times it may be a wise course of action.
But nonetheless there are plenty of modern day applications to this. Christians of all people need to learn the lesson of trusting fully in God, and not in man. Way too often we look to human solutions to problems which only reliance on God can fix.
One of the most evident and tragic examples is right now the way those claiming to be Christians in America have come out in praise and support for their would-be messiah, Donald Trump. It has been quite shocking to behold these folks abandon all biblical principles simply to shrill for this guy who they really believe is God’s anointed one.
One of the reasons deluded Christians have been feverishly running with the immoral, arrogant, pagan fake conservative Trump is they have been bedazzled by the appearance of glitz and glamour, power and pride, anger and antagonism. All the things God clearly and absolutely condemns in anyone, especially in leaders, these carnal Christians seem to quite adore.
‘But he will make America great again’ they intone. ‘He will save America’ is their desperate mantra. ‘He is the one to save us and restore us’ they foolishly claim. As if any man can do all this. Only one man can do this, and he is not running for office.
The level of deception here has been astronomical. Many have come out and actually claimed that Trump is God’s anointed one, and all who resist Trump are resisting God! I kid you not. I even had one delusional guy tell me that Trump actually is King Cyrus, and he quoted Isaiah 45:1-7, but took out the name of Cyrus and put in the name of Trump!
Wow, talk about diabolical deception running amok in some Christian circles! This is staggering to behold. Satan is having a field day with these nutters. But these folks are 110% convinced Trump is God’s perfect chosen vessel to make America great again and save the world!
All this sounds exactly like a real good case of leaning on the arm of flesh, of trusting in men and not God, of forming ungodly alliances, and so on. The very thing the OT so strongly warned against we see on full display here. It is so appalling to behold. How have God’s people allowed such mass deception and foolishness to so easily ensnare them?
Thus the OT is not a set of outdated books by any means, but is fully relevant to today’s events. What we find there nicely illustrates and condemns the idolatry, madness and delusion we see among some believers today. And the remedy for this is the same today as it was back then: mighty heartfelt repentance and turning away from this despicable idolatry.
Only that will lead to America getting back up again, not an idolatrous reliance on an immoral pagan celebrity and con artist.
13 Replies to “Ungodly Alliances: Relying on the Flesh and Rejecting God”
Sorry for going off-topic again but this is a vital local Australian matter:
Here in Australia, we will be having our own equivalent of Trump vs Hilary soon; Turnbull vs Shorten. It’s not looking nice at all.
The fact that both the Republicans and the Liberals are both headed by very non-conservative nominees/leaders should be a sign to all people that both parties have been infiltrated to the point that their values, which once formed their core political identities, have been largely abandoned.
Our only choice seems to be progressivism: encroaching government, increasing debt, and a steady roll towards a new and improved communism, one guaranteed to finally deliver that wily and evasive utopia.
The Libs are still preferred but it’s a pretty relative term in politics nowadays. I won’t be voting for either of them.
Thanks Simon. Yes the situation in Australia is almost as bad as in America. I have already written about this in various places, eg:
Yes, the story of Asa in 2 Chronicles 16 is interesting, because in the previous chapter we are told “Asa was fully committed to the Lord…” And that only goes to show that nobody is immune to falling away from trusting God.
In the same way, the world has for years looked to the US as a God-fearing nation, and they have prospered accordingly. More recently, however, they have, little by little, started to trust in those things (and people) that can only let them down. And now, to cap it all, so many of them are choosing to put their trust in a man who is anything but ‘God’s anointed’!
Recently I have seen posts on the internet saying that Trump is ‘the Lord’s anointed’! Here are a couple of links:
and, believe me, there are many more. Surely my aunt’s cat is more ‘anointed’ than Donald Trump! (God has been known to choose a donkey to speak through!)
Has the world really gone completely crazy? I am appalled at the number of confused, naive so-called Christians out there. Do they actually read their Bibles? I do know a few personally who, rather than attending a church, prefer to scan the internet looking for religious programs that they find appealing. There is no room here for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to operate!
Simon Fox, some of us have been hoping that Cory Bernardi would ‘step up to the plate’ and fill in the gap that has been created by Turnbull veering so far to the left. But it looks as though his time has not yet come. He is the only person I know of in the Liberal Party who has complete integrity – and I suspect that is the very reason why he will not move until he is absolutely sure that the time is right (if, of course, that ever happens). At least we can pray for Cory.
‘Christians of all people need to learn the lesson of trusting fully in God, and not in man’. Amen to that brother. Sadly even bishops need to learn that lesson too. Why has there been no call from the Australian Catholic bishops for Catholic people to turn to God in relation to the same-sex legalization issue for example or the dangers of pornography? There was some nonsense about some bishop trying to put the arm on Telstra (I think it was) for sponsoring SSM. I don’t know if that is true or not but one thing is for sure and that is that so called spiritual leaders are on a hiding to nothing trying to play the world at its own game. The Catholic church is currently so low in the credibility stakes that any corporation hit with that idiotic scenario would earn brownie points over the church every time. But the Catholic faithful would, I believe, support a call from all the Catholic Hierarchy to turn to God on crucial issues: abortion, militant Islam, education etc. Wasn’t it the case that during the Reformation in England all but one or two Catholic bishops caved in. So there is a precedent if the Australian spiritual leaders (Catholic bishops) want to justify their secular policy of prudent silence. Cowardice, in whatever form, does not sit well with the Australian character in my view. I believe we have some of our bishops going to WYD in Poland this year. I hope they don’t run into the ghost of JP II. He might be less than edified with this expensive Ecclesiastical escape to this older land of the brave. This trip to Poland is totally unnecessary and the decision should be reconsidered on the basis that it does not meet the priority test. The Sunday plate was never intended to finance Globe Trotting bishops. I’m aware that bishops are thought to be beyond reproach and that is why the church is in the mess that it is currently. So don’t consider my comments as criticism – treat them more in the nature of feedback! Thank you for this article Bill.
Many German Christians in the 1930s thought that God had chosen Hitler to make Germany great again. See what became of that!!!
Thanks Bill for your articles. Though I rarely comment I read them every day. Please keep it up in spite of all the frustrations.
Thanks Joost. And yes, you are quite right about the Germans.
Thank you for this – all highly applicable to the current referendum about UK membership of the European Union. EU membership is a classic case of a nation rejecting its solidly Christian constitution and looking instead to a supranational alliance for its safety and prosperity, when it should rather be acknowledging that righteousness before God alone can exalt a nation.
Yes, we need to make Christians in Australia awake about all these issues. I was thinking we should make an Australian version of the US Conservapedia at: http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page
Yes, indeed, Peter Simpson, if ever there were a case of a nation being unequally yoked with the ‘ uncircumcised heathen’ it is Britain’s jumping into bed with Babylonian EU.
Tragically we have a generation who don’t know their left from their right hand. Uprooted from their Christian roots, the present generation of both American and British voters are once more being led captive into bondage. Persecution is on the way and we had all better be prepared to make a stand, as Peter has done, year in and year out, at London Pride. Not only does this video show Peter fearlessly proclaiming the truth to the lost but it shows how our military have become emasculated and effeminate.
How on Earth will degenerate and dysfunctional, Western powers be able to stand up to such disciplined, military might as displayed by Putin ?
God help us.
David Skinner UK
Very true, Bill. In these days of the internet, people are attaining a cult like status all over the world and as we reject God, a human is used to fill the vacuum.
If the “top-knot come down!” preacher was still around he would probably quote as an electoral revelation “The Trump shall sound”.