We often hear about and read reports about notable people who attract large crowds wherever they appear in a public event. One personality reportedly drawing large crowds in recent times is President Donald Trump. He has been drawing large crowds especially as he makes appearances in what he calls MAGA (Make America Great Again) rallies. In his reelection announcement rally in Orlando, Florida, it was reported that 120,000 people applied for tickets in a venue that holds only 20,000. Some people waited in line for two days even enduring rain.
Early this year, my wife and I attended the MAGA rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, close to where we live. The event was held in an arena which holds more than 12,000 people. The arena was filled to capacity, and an unknown number of people were turned away once there was no more room. When we arrived we joined the line about four and a half city blocks from the entrance to the arena and waited in line for an hour and a half. More people filed in behind us, so the line was stretching even more blocks further back.
I knew why we were there but wondered about the reason that attracted so unbelievably many people to this rally and others like it. Is it for the rather rare distinction of being in the same place with the president? Is it because they like what he is doing and want to show their support and want to see him reelected for another term? Is it out of curiosity? Perhaps a combination of these, or for some other reason.
My thoughts turned to Psalm 146:3–5 (English Standard Version): “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” The following verses go on to tell what the Lord does for his people. What he does is all those things and more which people hope for in government leaders.
There of course is nothing wrong with supporting a public official who advances the policies that one thinks is right. But how many of those thousands who come out to see the president do so because they put their trust in him and his accomplishments instead of in God? Whatever great and good things any man might accomplish is after all because they are from God. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9). Presidents come and go and policies change with them. Psalm 146:10 concludes, “The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!” In whom then is it better to place our trust?
Mr. Myron Rau is president of the board of Reformed Fellowship.