Psalm 20:7-8 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall but we rise and stand upright.”
What is the basis of your trust for the future? What are you depending on? We know that there are dangers that await us if we really stop and think about it. Though we may not be sure about what they will be, any sober-minded person knows that they will be. Some examples: people are gnashing their teeth about the state of affairs of our nation and world as the Ukraine tragedy plays itself out before our eyes. Others are extremely worried about climate change. It seems like that’s all we hear about every time we see a new fire out west or hurricane in the east. But on a personal note, do you have enough money for the future? Are you saving enough? What about your health? There are surely no guarantees, and health problems – either our own, or those of our immediate family – can devastate a person’s finances, no matter how prepared they think they might be.
Who knows what is coming around the next bend? Actually, none of us do, for absolutely no one really knows the future. And death is on the heels of each and every of us. So, what’s to protect us? In what do we trust? Well, in the verses above we are told what some, and probably many people, trust in. The Bible says some trust in “chariots” and some trust in “horses.” In the time that this was written, chariots and horses were implements of war. In other words, some people trust in the power of their armies. Elsewhere we are told that “A rich man’s wealth is his strong city (Proverbs 18:11).” It’s what he trusts in. As long as his bank account looks healthy, he is confident and feels secure. Others trust other things – like their intellect, their health, and their job. They feel secure if these things are secure. So, what about the Christian? What should he or she trust in? The answer is “none of these things.” Not that there is anything wrong with wise money management, or the security of a strong nation, or other human or man-made things. They are blessings for which anyone should be thankful. However, the believer should never trust in such things because absolutely every physical thing in this world will fail. They often do in this life, and they will definitely do us no good in the next. As the verses above tell us and experience should teach us “they collapse and fall.” Therefore, to trust in them is to trust in what is feeble – something that will fail us in the end. But then we are told that the believer is to trust in a “name,” i.e., “the name of the Lord our God.” Elsewhere we are told that “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe (Proverbs 18:10).” “Safe,” in this context, ultimately means we are safe for all eternity – and that safety is rooted in the name, i.e., the character, the power, and the words of the One behind that name, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the basis for complete protection, no matter what. This is the only One who has the power to protect each and every person on the face of the earth from all harm, i.e., ultimate harm, in the end, if we will but trust in Him.
You see, everything in this world that we can see will ultimately fail. Gold will tarnish, people will die, governments will fall. They always have and they always will. But the name of the Lord is sure. He alone knows the future. He alone is all-powerful, and He alone is all-knowing. No matter what the situation, the believer knows (because God has told him) that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” The believer knows that God’s time scale is an eternal one and His purposes never fail, no matter what. We can trust Him in life, and we can trust Him in death – safe, secure, protected, in the arms of the Almighty and Infinite One. Who but God can ever say “some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish (Luke 21:16-18)”? Everything physical in this life that men and women trust in will perish, but no one will perish, not even a hair of their head, who trusts in the mighty name of the one who proved Himself by rising from the grave. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid (Isaiah 12:2).” We have His Word, His Being, His very Name on it, if we will only trust.