7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
This is a psalm written by David, a man who knew much battle, and saw plenty of chariots and horses, the war machines of those days. The Psalms are like songs and/or a prayers, sometimes for expression of individual or corporate emotion. Today’s psalm is the latter type, and it was used when David and his men were facing the enemy and heading into another showdown.
Who is “we”? David and his men. David was a man after God’s heart, and God had blessed him to be king. David’s men were likely to have experienced God answering David’s faith in God’s protection and power as they went into battles.
What does it mean “to trust in the name of the Lord our God”? Back then, a name reflected the character of the person. So to trust in someone’s name would be to trust his character. To trust someone’s character, you would have to be familiar with the nature of the person. In this verse, the original Hebrew word used here for “Lord” is “Yahweh,” which concordances summarize its meaning as “God is present to act (usually, but not only) in salvation.” So, in the context of the verse, as David and his men faced the enemy, they were counting on God to be present with them, save/deliver them and/or give them victory.
What is the significance of the word “but”? The use of this word does not mean that David and his men did not use horses and chariots, instead it means even with all these things, that the thing/person they chose to base their confidence of winning the battle on the character of God. “But” also did not mean that they did not have to fight and maybe get injured in the battle, nor did it mean they did not other normal emotions prior to going into battle like nervousness, anxiety, fear, stress, tiredness and so on. Rather, it means that in spite these emotions, they chose to focus on what kind of person they knew God to be based their prior experience, and counted on Him to be the same now as they fought.
So it is with us. You can only trust somebody to the extent you know that person, and for ways you have experienced that person to be like. Even if you don’t know what specific action he will take in a new situation, you can anticipate he will act largely in character that He has displayed. God has laid out His character, His thoughts and His ways in His word, and Jesus has shown us clearly what God is like. Let us take the time and frequently be in His word and ask God to let us experience Him more, so that we can know Him better and trust Him more.
Thoughts for the day
- Write down the attributes of God’s nature you have experienced. Relive those memories. Which attribute (you already know or a new one) you would like to get more familiar with?
- What are the ways you experience God that help you know better who He is? And, what is your pattern of taking in the Bible? If you find it hard to do it alone, buddy up with a fellow believer.
- On which “battle” in your life do you need to overlay the situation and feelings with your prior personal experience of God, and count on Him to act in a consistent manner today?
- David knew God so he could trust Him, and he led those who followed his command and/or influence to trust in God. How can you help or lead those who follow or are influenced by you to know and trust in God?
Dear God and Heavenly Father, as I walk into the battle arena of my life today, bring to mind how you have been with me before so that I may cast that experience over my present reality and face the situation and people knowing I am not alone. Remind me that I enter everyday with you, the God Almighty, who sees my circumstances, understands how I feel and will use of every “chariot” and “horse” to create another experience through which I can know you more. Amen.