Summer Daily Devotional - Psalm 20
Trust in the Name
“Some trust in chariots, some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).
I love this Psalm.
I memorized it as a kid and sang it in high school when a local pastor put it to music (the vivid imagery in my young brain was helped along by multiple viewings of Charlton Heston’s Ben-Hur).
Chariots…rolling, thundering, crushing all in their path, a sign of wealth, innovation, domination, and military might.
Horses…stomping, pulling, racing, a sign of authority, royalty, and power.
And the Psalmist brazenly claims that those who put their hope in magnificent things like horses and chariots will suffer humiliating failure. “They are brought to their knees and fall” (vs. 8).
To be clear, he’s not knocking horses and chariots. He’s knocking trusting in those things ultimately for salvation.
Now we may be tempted to think, “Riiight. Ok, whatever. Don’t trust horses for salvation. Will do.”
But don’t blow it off too quickly. We have our own equivalent of horses and chariots in our day, we just give them a different name.
Let’s take some creative liberties with the text and see if anything hits home.
“Some trust in military might…”
“Some trust in the stock exchange…”
“Some trust in the housing market…”
“Some trust in their retirement account…”
“Some trust in their hard work…”
“Some trust in the government…”
“Some trust in a vaccine…” (too soon?)
“Some trust in a political leader…”
“Some trust in themselves…”
“Some trust in education…”
“Some trust in relationships…”
On and on the list could go. There are a million false sources of hope we could replace chariots and horses with. And the Psalmist is saying…those who trust in these things will fall.
Does that mean the Psalmist is down on those things?
Not at all.
There is nothing wrong with political leaders, retirement accounts, and horses pulling chariots.
There is something wrong if you or I look to them for salvation. If we do, we will fall. And that’s on us, not the horse.
The horses and chariot may have been ideal to carry the warrior into battle, but they were never made to carry the weight and expectations of one's hopes and dreams. For that, we must look to something, or someone, greater.
So this morning, let Psalm 20:7-8 be your declaration:
“Some trust in chariots, some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They (who look to the horses) are brought to their knees and fall; but we (who look to the Lord) rise up and stand firm.”
Want to stand firm? Then look not to the horse, but to the One who made the horse. Then you will stand firm, even when all around you fall.