People are crazy, and the world is full of them. And most of them don’t know how to drive, right? And everyone knows that the world is full of crazy people. Everyone knows that you can’t take people seriously. But if everyone knows that, why are “people” such an issue? Why do we care what they think? Why do we work so hard to be accepted? And other than the percentage of tax you pay, what does it matter what class you’re in? Is there really a difference?
Today’s verse is Psalm 62:9.
Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
If you weigh them on the scales,
together they are lighter than a breath of air.
People are all the same. Maybe some have more money than others. Maybe some have more education than others. Maybe some have more influence than others. But when you get right down to it, people are all the same. And according to this verse, they’re not worth much — lighter than a breath of air.
I always want to make sure I understand the verses I blog about as best I can with my limited knowledge, so I checked this one out in the Amplified Version. It pretty much says the same thing:
Men of low degree [in the social scale] are emptiness (futility, a breath) and men of high degree [in the same scale] are a lie and a delusion. In the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
I also checked the Message too:
Man as such is smoke,
woman as such, a mirage.
Put them together, they’re nothing;
two times nothing is nothing.
So if people aren’t worth more than a breath of air and a puff of wind, why do we worry about what they think? Why does it matter what their social preferences are? Why does it matter what their opinions are? I think it’s interesting because our entire culture, and even people who don’t believe the Bible, know and understand that the herd mentality is foolish. But what happens when the latest cultural trend hits?
Right. Everyone runs out to buy the same clothes or do the same diet or drive the same car. We all want social acceptance, don’t we?
So how does this help today? Because I’m getting ready to go to work where I’ll be surrounded by people. And then I have a meeting tonight where I will be surrounded by different kinds of people. People are a part of life. So how does this verse help?
I usually go against the grain. Whatever is popular at the moment, I do the opposite. But that’s just me. And while social acceptability doesn’t mean as much to me as to someone else, I still want to accepted. I still want to operate within the normal boundaries of my culture. I still think about whether or not people think I’m weird, and it still matters to me.
But should it?
Here is the danger of taking verses out of context. If you just read this verse and think it’s a standalone verse, you could be tempted to think that this is what God thinks about people in general. Not at all. God loves people, and people were worth the life of His Son.
But that’s not what this Psalm is about. Psalm 62 is about waiting on God when people are against you.
When you’re waiting for God to do something, it’s hard enough to keep your focus on Him without letting other people drag your attention away. When it feels like God isn’t saying anything, people seem to get louder. Their opinions seem to matter more, and their ideas sound revolutionary. But it’s not people we’re waiting on. It’s not people who can help us.
Personally, I’m waiting this morning. But if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I do that a lot. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for God to make the next move. And while I’m waiting, I am always tempted to fall into step with people. After all … I’m waiting. Is there something better to do?
The problem with people is that they are distracting. They can drag you away from your true purpose. And while we are supposed to interact with people (don’t misunderstand me) and we are supposed to love people the same way God does, when we’re waiting for God to do something, we need to keep our eyes on Him. He alone is our refuge. He alone is our shield. He alone is our source of victory. And if we get bogged down by culture and society while we’re waiting for God, there’s a danger that you’ll forget what you’re waiting for.
So don’t be afraid of people but understand that they can be a distraction. And don’t give them more power than they have. Psalm 62:11-12 pretty much sums up why:
God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Surely you repay all people
according to what they have done.