June 24, 2019
The power of God is manifested in many ways. One of those ways is seen through the creatures that He has created. God has made some exceptionally powerful creatures like the lion and wild ox. The scriptures often use these creatures as an example of God’s own strength in comparison to the power and strength of people. When a lion is pitted against a person, there is not much hope for the person. This is why it was such a great miracle that Daniel the prophet was able to survive the lion’s den that he was thrown into. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den as a form of punishment and certain doom because it is generally understood that we as people stand no chance against the power of a lion. The Bible speaks of wild oxen in a similar manner. The wild oxen remain wild because, they are not only stubborn, but too powerful for human hands to control. When wild oxen are committed to their way, it is not common for human influence to overpower the will of the ox. The Bible speaks of the great strength of these creatures to exemplify God’s own strength. If mankind cannot tame, control, and overpower these creatures, how much less can we control the LORD God Almighty that created them?
In the testimony of Job 39:19-25 the Bible speaks of the power and strength of horses, but in a different way. God spoke to Job to address his self-righteousness, and used the power and strength He gave to horses to humble him. God is not only the one that gives great strength to wild animals, but also has given great strength to animals that are actually serviceable to people. God is able to provide power and strength to creatures that are untamable and a threat to people, and also is able to control the power and strength He gives to other creatures so that they are of aid to people. This shows that God’s power and strength as the Creator is purposeful and wise. God is not so powerful that He makes a mess of things in His work, lacking restraint. God’s is powerful, but also demonstrates finesse in the use of His power so that the manifestation of His power is direct, specific, and perfectly controlled to produce detailed purposes. Thus, the events of Job’s life weren’t accidental. God was not levying a heavy hand against Job as if He applied too much pressure or lost control. God used His power in Job’s life to the exact degree and measure He desired to. Since God’s control is always expressed with perfect restraint and wisdom, Job had no right to criticize or complain against the manner in which God was executing His purposes.
God reminded Job about the strength of horses. God is the cause of the power, strength and majesty of the horse. Yet, God ensured that the horse’s power is used for the purpose of aiding people. A person cannot match the power and strength of a horse, but can train, harness, and easily leverage their make-up for personal use. God has made it so that the power and strength of horses is useful for mankind. However, God specifically addressed the fearless nature of the horse’s power and strength. God spoke of a horse trained, prepared, and deployed for battle. Does the snorting of a man frighten the horse, or does the powerful snort of the warhorse frighten the man? Though a warhorse might prance and paw in the valley peacefully and gracefully during peace time, the warhorse has a totally different approach during wartime! The warhorse knows when the time to prance is over, and changes his steps to a violent gallop that strikes fear into the hearts of the enemy. When the horse sees the clashing of swords, spears, arrows, and javelins, they don’t slow down. They’re not intimidated by the weaponry of men even though they might pose a threat. The horse charges with powerful violence able to trample the enemy down. The speed in which the horse attacks into battle can quickly close the distance between the rider and the enemy because the horse has no reservations. The horse is able and willing to use all of its being for the violent pursuit of the enemy and does so instinctively at the command of its rider.
The Lord reminded Job that horses don’t suddenly halt when the trumpets sound. In other words, the sounds and objectives of the enemy don’t influence the horse from his job. The warhorse approaches his pursuit and objective with the same aggressive force no matter the sounds the enemy might make to frighten the rider. In fact, the horse is often the source of inspiration and confidence for the rider because of his fearlessness. The shouts of captains from the tops of their horses often increase in volume at the increase of speed of their horse. The confidence of the rider is often because of the confident power and strength of the horse. Though a man on a horse might be mighty in battle, it is only because God has given the horse power and allowed that power to be subject to the rider. Thus, the might of the rider is attributed to the wisdom and grace of God’s own power distributed through the horse.
At the same time, the Bible frequently warns the people of God to refrain from trusting in horses as the source of their power and strength. In Psalm 33:17-18 the Bible says,
“A horse [is] a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver [any] by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD [is] on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy…”
It is one thing to leverage the power and strength God put in horses for an advantage. It is another thing to entrust one’s life into the strength of horses. The horse is not the provider of its own strength and is not able to provide strength to those who ride them. Many riders of strong horses have died in battle, showing that the horse is unable to save people from death. Thus, God provides favor for those who fear Him as the Creator of the horse, the rider, and is the victor in all battles. Those who humbly pursue the mercy of God are those who are delivered from eternal death. In Isaiah Chapter 31, God began His address to Israel by saying, “Woe to those who trust in horses.” Those who place all of their hope in the physical ability of God’s creation will soon find that they are insufficient to continually do what needs to be done. Though their strength is great and serviceable, it does not compare to the everlasting and unchanging strength of the Holy One of Israel – the LORD God Almighty.
King David understood this principle. While he valued God’s creation and leveraged the strength of horses for good purpose, his trust and dependency on the Lord was greater. In Psalm 20:7-9, David wrote,
“Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright. Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call.”
David understood that God is the One that determines who stands and who falls, not the horse that they ride on. The power and strength of horses is often the confidence of many kings and authority figures, but David knew God as the King of kings. When Jesus returns as the King of kings riding on His white horse, it is not the horse that makes Jesus great. While the strength of horses might give earthly kings their confidence, it is Jesus that make His horse great when He rides on it to judge the world. The fierceness of Jesus’ horse is on account of Jesus being the rider, not the other way around.
Clearly there is a great difference in the ways that we deal with God’s creation and the way He deals with His own creation. As a result, we should not criticize how God uses His power. We should not complain about how God allows our lives to play out. When God causes difficulties so that we suffer in pain, we should not despise Him nor the manner of His work. We respect and cherish the helpful power and strength that comes from the creatures He’s provided us for aid, but forget about the power, strength, and wisdom He exercised to do so. We forget about His supreme power, strength, fearlessness, and wisdom to judge the world. We forget that the physical attributes of this life are all subject to the King of kings so that no matter the appearance of our lives or the condition of them, God remains the same – sovereign above all. Since this is true, we should not gripe about our issues, but seek mercy from Him who sits on a white horse to make war with those who oppose Him; who is not influenced by the strength of His horse, but gives His horse strength by the power of His own glory and His purpose for it!