"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God." ~ Psalm 20:7
If you would have quoted this verse to me one week ago, I would have told you I had never heard it. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will guide and instruct us, and this week, the Holy Spirit had something to say to me! I heard this verse quoted or saw it written at least four times in the last week! When I mentioned this to my husband, he quickly replied - "It looks like God's trying to tell you something." So I have pondered this short and simple verse, meditating on its meaning and attempting to understand just what it is I am supposed to learn from it. Below is a brief analysis of my conclusion:
Some Trust in Chariots
A chariot was used in ancient times many times in battle or during a race. The rider would stand on the platform in the middle, with the wheel on the outside, and hold the reins of the horse pulling the chariot. The chariot itself was man-made, put together piece by piece by a craftsman. It might provide additional protection for the rider, as in the course of battle. Or it may also offer prestige with decadent decorations displaying the wealth of the owner. Just as ancient poeple trusted in chariots during the race or battle, today, people may also trust in "chariots" through the race course of life. These "chariots" are man-made things. They might be a home, a car, jewlery, toys, or many other items. They may believe that these items offer protection from life's battles. They give them a false hope of security, power, and comfort. These people take good care of their "chariots", they wash them on Sundays, they enter them in parades, they invite others to tour them, they lock them in safes. These "chariots" offer a ride through this life that is filled with the potholes of "never enough", the one-way road to "burdened", and the intersection where the roads of "one more", "bigger is better", "If I only had" and "one day" all meet. This chariot will carry the rider somewhere, but they never end up where they wanted to go.
Some Trust in Horses
In ancient times, the horse would be hitched to the chariot. The horse would have a bit attached to reins, and the chariot rider would steer the horse to make the chariot go where he wanted it to go. The horse had to be powerful to pull the weight of the chariot and to maintain endurance for the race or the battle. A good horse could make or break the outcome. The rider depended on the horse to pull the chariot. Without the horse, the rider would be a sitting duck for the enemy. The rider needed a horse who was not afraid to go into battle, or who would put forth the extra energy to win a race. The rider could not control the horses' internal desire to perform. The created horse itself would need to provide that security to the rider. Just as the rider was dependent upon the horse, people today put their trust in created things, things they cannot control. They look to the created world to offer them purpose and meaning. They let others guide thier path, and assume that this life on earth is all that matters, all that is eternal. They let their natural feelings and emotions take them where they want to go. The riders do not direct their lives with reins, but instead, they say, we should do what feels good, we should go where our internal desires take us. They trust in the things they see around them, and get advice and direction from the world.
But We Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God
So where does a Christian put their trust? Not in the chariot, the man-made item which could fall apart at any time. And not in the creature or the created things. A christian rider who is running the race of life places their trust in the Lord. The chariot we ride is not adorned with jewels and pearls, but it moves well, and smoothly among life's trials, safely keeping the rider on course. The chariot is the Word of God, offering us truth to stand on, a strong foundation. Like the worldly rider, the christian rider's chariot offers protection from the enemy. When faced with adversity, our chariot (the Word) delivers peace in the midst of battle, and encouragement through the race of life. Unlike the worldly rider and his horse, the christian rider does not fight with the reins, pulling the bit in the horse's mouth to direct the path of the chariot. No, the christian rider holds tightly to the reins, and allows the Holy Spirit to guide them. It is a peaceful ride, full of joy, even while facing much adversity. While the worldly rider goes through the race focused on manuevering his chariot, the christian rider is free to enjoy the journey, resting in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will guide their path, and the burden will be light.
So the question remains, where do you place your trust?
While some may trust in man-made chariots, and others in the worldly horse, I will trust in the name of the Lord my God! ~Karen