Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me free.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
Instead of looking for a person or a leader whom I can trust in stressful times, I need to learn to call on the Lord because that is far better.
I can choose to put my trust in men, who may or may not disappoint me, or I can take refuge in the LORD. What kind of refuge can a man provide, compared to what the LORD provides? The LORD not only listens to me, but he answers me and takes action on my behalf to set me free. He promises to be on my side, not as merely an observer or a witness, but as my helper.
Tomorrow's results will bear out today's truths. The LORD is with me. I will look in triumph on those who have united to defeat me because of hatred, not because a man or a leader helped me out, but because the LORD helped me out. My enemies might be able to intimidate a man, but they can never intimidate the LORD. Some men might be good to help out in our distress. It would seem that men in positions of power or authority might be more helpful than just a common man, endowed with no power. The point of the verses remains that whatever help men or leaders may be able to lend us, to trust in the LORD is always a step above; it is better.
Take, for instance, the very concept of refuge. The LORD does not say that He will make a refuge for me somewhere, as a man would try to do. The LORD Himself becomes my Refuge, which is far better.
The rub is that we cannot have both. We cannot add trusting man to trusting God and have an equation that equals refuge, freedom, triumph, answers, provision and help. Men may allow it, but God does not. He does not share His glory with anyone. In this Psalm, it is presented as an either/or proposition. If trusting in men and the LORD were a possibility, it would certainly be listed here. There is another reason why we cannot have both; it is the heart of man. The heart was made to focus on one thing at a time. A heart that constantly flits from one source of help to another cannot enter into rest or refuge; a double minded man cannot receive anything from God because it is not in a position to do so.
To enter in to what is better, we begin by calling on the LORD. We continue by affirming our faith in Him, and maintaining our focus on Him. We are finished when He Himself becomes our Refuge.