“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
We are all looking for some kind of saviour.
That’s a bold statement, especially if you don’t consider yourself particularly religious or spiritual. Yet every single one of us is on the look out for a saviour. It’s just that we look in very different places for the person, or thing, that we think will save us.
For many of us, our saviour will be fulfilment at work. I trust that when I reach that position in my chosen career, or complete that particular goal, or receive that recognition or reward, then I will be satisfied. We look to our career to make us complete and whole; we are trusting in our work to save us.
For others, it is family that we consider to be our saviour. When I am married, have kids, have grandchildren, then I will be fulfilled. Family becomes the source of our security, strength and satisfaction; we trust in family to save us.
We could go on and one with plenty of other examples. We are currently still in a global pandemic with the hope of a vaccine as one of the key ways back to some kind of ‘normal’ life. Just this week, we have received encouraging news about the possibility of a vaccine being developed, leading to a great deal of news coverage and speculation. For many of us in the pain and struggle of lockdown and fear, we can look to a vaccine to be our saviour right now.
Not that there is anything wrong with a vaccine for Covid-19. Far from it, I pray that the development is quick and effective. Nor is there anything wrong with work or family. Marriage and children are a gift from God, and career development and the skills someone applies to their work is a blessing to be thankful for. But they do not bear the weight of being our saviour.
In Psalm 20 David writes, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Horses were the source of strength and power in the ancient world; chariots were an example of technological and military prowess. Both of these things were places where people put their trust; they were looked on as saviours.
David reminds us that chariots and horses are fine gifts from God but poor saviours. Military might may make us feel secure, but it cannot save. Strength and power may feel like we are invincible but we quickly find that we are not. Work, family, financial security, influence, respect and many other things are great blessings but they are not the saviour we crave. A vaccine for Covid-19 is something we all need, but it is not what we all need the most.
For David the better alternative to chariots and horses is to trust in the Lord our God. God is a better saviour than technology, power, strength or influence. God through Jesus has made a way through death and provided what we deeply need: a saviour who can bring us back to the God who made us. If you have chariots and horses (or their equivalent) then rejoice. But don’t let them become the saviour that only God can provide.