Beyond Hope in Horses – Psalm 20
Horses are big and visible. They’re powerful and impressive. If you were an ancient King and had enough wealth they were also able to be kept in barns, counted, fed, and brought into the fight exactly when you need them. In short – horses are a very impressive resource you could keep ’on the shelf‘ that should be able to sway a battle, or intimidate the enemy. To trust in horses as an ancient King makes good sense. They’re so.. tangible.
How much more then a bright shiny metal and wood contraption like a chariot attached to one of these glowing and pawing beasts? The chariot was the ancient equivalent of a tank or a fighter jet. Got horses? Good. Got chariots? Even better. Decisive, powerful, ready to hand. These are surely the resources and security of a legitimate King.
In contrast King David indicates that whilst ’some’ place their faith in the ease of the obvious, and the accessible, and the immediate, and the controllable, he placed his trust somewhere else entirely;
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!”(Psalm 20:7–9 NIV11)
It’s God Himself, who is David’s security. God who he entrusts the outcome to. No doubt there are armies and strategies and swords but David recognises that the outcome of the great battles is in the hands of His Lord and so it is prayer that lies at the heart of David’s security.
“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.”(Psalm 20:1 NIV11)
And this because he has become assured of these great truths:
“Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.”(Psalm 20:6 NIV11)
Today there are obvious things to do and check and prepare and store up and plan for. Do them. And, as you do, be wary of finding your whole hope in the things that are in your own hands. The reality is that victory (or defeat) always lies in God’s hands. King David was God’s anointed King and prepared the way for us to see the ultimate anointed King – God’s Christ – who would see the battle all the way to victory on the cross and in the glory of the resurrection. We can know that God is for us in our daily battles because He gave victory to His King in the greatest battle.
Keep running today. Keep praying today. Keep looking beyond the chariots and horses to your victorious King.
Grace and peace,