When Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph. (1 Kings 11:28)

BERNIE MADOFF GAINED THE CONFIDENCE of numerous investors, including celebrities Steven Spielberg and Kevin Bacon. Perhaps the confidence was inspired by Madoff’s personal success. He started out as a high school lifeguard who saved what he earned. Later, he installed sprinkler systems, and saved additional money. Eventually, he started a financial company called Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC. Soon he became widely known for his financial success and his service as the chairman of NASDAQ for three terms. At one point Madoff’s company handled more than 5 percent of the trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange.

Numerous investors trusted Madoff to get them a big return for their investments in an elaborate Ponzi scheme, but their pipe dream ended in shock and financial loss. Federal investigators found that $170 billion passed through Bernie’s principal account. A judge pronounced him guilty of fraud, and sentenced him to 150 years in prison. The investors’ confidence in Madoff had been misplaced.

Past success is no substitute for personal integrity. Solomon’s confidence in Jeroboam was misplaced. Jeroboam became a rebel and an idolater.

Although some men and women are trustworthy, it is always best to place our ultimate trust in the Lord. He will never disappoint us. Psalm 118:8 counsels: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

Maintain a strong confidence in the Lord!

Jim Dyet was born in Scotland and grew up in Canada. Married fifty-eight years, he and his wife Gloria live in Colorado Springs, where Jim enjoys golf and daily walks with their dogs.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.