Our small group, which meets in our home on Sunday evenings, just completed reading and discussing the book, The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. This book, along with some other sermons, Bible readings, and life events that occurred this month, have caused me to reflect much on what I treasure and where I put my trust. In particular, one verse on this topic has been weighty on my mind, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
In the 13th Century BC, Joshua led the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan—the Promised Land. In regard to army strength, the Israelites had very little in comparison to those they were fighting. They had fewer troops, less training, and basic weaponry. Canaan, on the other hand, had large armies, trained military, and intimidating war horses and chariots—the most powerful weapon of the time. Despite the worldly odds against them, God, in His power, allowed the Israelites to defeat the large Canaanite armies. After each successful battle, I’m sure Joshua and his men were tempted to take the powerful war horses and chariots strengthen their own forces. But, the Lord commanded them not to. Why? Because the Lord did not want the Israelites to trust in the size of their army or the strength of their horses and chariots, but rather He wanted them to trust in Him alone. “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you” (Deuteronomy 20:1).
As I pondered this, I started to wonder what “horses and chariots” I might be trusting in for security. Some thoughts that came to mind included my reputation with those around me, the success of my business, the stability of my checking, savings, and retirement accounts, the things I do to help establish my children’s future, and my relationships with friends and family. Although these things are not bad and only exist because God provides them, I tend to think of them as ancient armies thought of horses and chariots—believing they will bring the strength and security I desire. But just as God showed the Israelites that their strength didn’t come from horses and chariots but from His power alone, He is also showing me that my security does not come from my “horses and chariots” but from His steadfast love alone. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
May we turn from trusting in the fading strength of our “horses and chariots” to finding never ending peace and assured security in the steadfast love, grace, and faithfulness of the Lord—our almighty Provider.
By Katie Miller
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