Tuesday, 03 February 2015 06:11

Horses, Chariots and Names

Written by  Sam Whatley
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About 3,000 years ago King David recorded in Psalm 20:7 something we instinctively know to be true, but find difficult to understand.  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Horses and chariots in King David’s time were symbols of national wealth and power. In our day we might say aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. Only the super powers had them in great numbers. But he warns us that pride comes with financial and military power. A country tends to forget about the divine and focuses on itself. You expect other nations to be impressed and to respect your name. But there is a name that is above all names, Jesus Christ.


The names of human leaders are remembered for a while. They stand not only for themselves, but for ideas, values and ways of life. To illustrate this point, consider a magazine article in the early 1960’s entitled, “The World Depends on KKK: Not the Klan, but Kennedy, Khrushchev, and King.” John Kennedy was the popular young President of the United States; Nikita Khrushchev, the powerful Premier of the Soviet Union; and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the charismatic leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Just saying their names brought up images of clashing values within our society and a tense world-wide struggle called the Cold War. The stakes were very high and no one knew which side would win.


Indeed, at the time it appeared that the world depended on the three K’s. But within five years we found out otherwise. In 1963 Kennedy was assassinated. The next year Khrushchev was forced to resign. And four years after that, Dr. King was killed by a sniper.


Look at that verse from the Psalms again. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.


God’s rule over the universe has not changed in the past 50 years, or the past 5,000. He is still on the throne and His name has all the power it had when he rolled out the stars and measured out the limits of the sea. He is not subject to death or the whims of a political party. He will not be replaced or dismissed. All those who declare that God is dead are soon in the morgue themselves.


So when we are agonizing over the latest street crime, terrorist attack, or cultural upheaval, let’s remember that we trust in the One who has ultimate control over our lives. There is power in His name. There is power in the cross. There is power in the resurrection.


King Solomon, David’s heir to the throne, expressed a similar thought in Psalm 127:1 – 2: Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.


God does not remove us from our conflicts. He just makes us the people we ought to be while we are going through them. We are a people who are called by His name. And that affects how we live.


When I was a teenager going out on a date, my mother would ask me what my last name was. I would answer and she would ask, “Is that a good name?” When I said yes, she would ask, “When you come home tonight, will it still be a good name?”


One of the Ten Commandments is not to take the Lord’s name in vain. If you are a Christian you are associated with His name and He with yours. May our lives not bring shame to His name.


In their way Kennedy, Khrushchev, and King made significant changes in our world. But in a few years someone else had to take up their roles and move forward. And so it is with us. We have only a brief time to be the folks God has designed us to be. Let’s not waste this opportunity to shine His light in our community, at our places of work and study, and in our homes. The world really does depend on it.



Last modified on Friday, 13 February 2015 06:17
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