“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”
The old song says, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.”
Hard-faced reality says, “Actually, you do have no luck at all. Never did. Never will. There is no such thing as ‘luck.'”
To put faith in luck is to put faith in an idol.
But before we go around leveling idolatry charges against people, we need to clarify the possible meanings of the word “luck”.
After a hole-in-one, we might say, “That was a lucky shot.” What we mean is, “That was unexpected and not likely to be repeated.” After a fishing trip, a person might ask, “Have any luck?” He probably means, “Have any success?”
But sometimes, luck is being counted on or hoped for as a means to achieve success or prevent bad things from happening.
Trusting in luck is putting faith in a fake god.
It happens easy enough and often enough to make this a common spiritual crime. We may have fallen into that habit. We surely have seen it happen with people around us. We could probably come up with a long list of items that have been used as lucky charms. They can range from a rabbit’s foot to a certain coin, to a special rubber band. It isn’t that we doubt the care and protection of the holy God; it’s just that it makes us feel better
to have that “lucky” thing with us.
But when we boil it down to basics, we are telling ourselves that it is not enough to have the power of the Almighty and his angels watching out for us. We need extra protection. The heathen people who lived around the Old Testament and early Christian Believers would have understood this. In fact, that’s what they wanted from the Believers. That’s the way they accepted the presence of God.
They trusted in the gods of rivers and trees, the gods of the clouds and the stars. If Believers wanted to worship Jehovah as God, they had no problem with that. They would join them. But to worship Jehovah as God, as the only God—that they would challenge. If there is only one God, that would mean their faith in their idols is wrong, is worthless. In this, they were correct.
Even idols made of gold and jewels cannot see, cannot speak, and cannot save. What can a golden calf or a lucky coin do about the guilt of sin? What can any earthly item do to appease the anger of the Holy God? What does luck have to do with escaping from the decree, “The wages of sin is death.”?
The holy Lord God does not need a helper to protect us. He accepts no one and no thing to stand next to him in power and glory.
It is His Son, Jesus, who conquered sin, death, and the devil. No one else! Nothing else. The Bible declares, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts:4:12).
He who can save us from the wages of sin can save us from the sniper—if that is His will. It comes down to a matter of trusting that He knows what is best for us and will bring that about. It takes faith to mean it when we say, “Thy will be done.” The order from on high is: “Fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” There is no need for luck. No place for it in our lives.
We pray: Lord God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you alone have the power to rescue me from any danger to body or soul. Empower me to boldly believe that as I place my life into Your hands. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer
WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military.