Saturday, July 30, 2011

Trusting in Chariots

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Trust in the Name of the LORD Our God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1May the LORD(A) answer you in the day of trouble!
May(B) the name of the God of Jacob(C) protect you!
2May he send you help from(D) the sanctuary
and give you support from(E) Zion!
3May he(F) remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
4May he(G) grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
5May we shout for joy over(H) your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our(I) banners!
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
6Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with(J) the saving might of his right hand.
7Some trust in(K) chariots and some in(L) horses,
(M) but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
9O LORD, save(N) the king!
May he answer us when we call.
Cross references:
A. Psalm 20:1 : Gen 35:3
B. Psalm 20:1 : Prov 18:10
C. Psalm 20:1 : Psalm 59:1; 69:29
D. Psalm 20:2 : Psalm 73:17; 2 Chr 20:8
E. Psalm 20:2 : Psalm 128:5
F. Psalm 20:3 : Acts 10:4
G. Psalm 20:4 : Psalm 21:2
H. Psalm 20:5 : Psalm 9:14
I. Psalm 20:5 : Psalm 60:4; Song 6:4, 10
J. Psalm 20:6 : Psalm 28:8
K. Psalm 20:7 : Isa 31:1; 36:9
L. Psalm 20:7 : Prov 21:31
M. Psalm 20:7 : 1 Sam 17:45; 2 Chr 32:8
N. Psalm 20:9 : Psalm 48:2 ESV

While driving in your car, you trust that your seatbelt will keep you from being ejected if an accident were to occur. While riding a bike, you wear a helmet trusting that it will protect your head if ever you were to fall off. While baking cookies, you trust that the oven mit you put on your hand will keep it from getting burned. These are all obvious, common sense things that we trust in every day right?

Well take it a step further and think about some emotional and psychological securities you may have: do you make sure you have plenty of money sitting your bank account just in case you need to buy something? What about your job? Do you work 50+ hours in your attempts to secure your position, pleasing people while paying an outrageous mortgage with three little ones and a loving wife at home? Do you spend endless amounts of time studying and preparing for exams that it sucks the joy and life out of every day? What about spending loads of money on cosmetics to make your face look younger, and a physical trainer to help you keep your body toned and sleek? What about transitioning your kids into adults? Do you have a tendency to put ridiculous amounts of rules and regulations on them, expectations so that they grow up and transition as easily as possible, without any challenge or conflict along the way? And lastly, when you lay your head down at night on your pillow, do you fall asleep with the mentality, “I am good enough, if I were to die tonight, I would go to heaven: I pray, go to church, help out the needy every once in a while….”

When trouble arises within your life? What is your “go-to?” In Psalm 20, David writes a series of almost prayer-like phrases to the reader, encouraging them to put their trust in the LORD. During his time, people put their trust in the power of the Egyptian army: these men rode on chariots and horses and were extremely powerful. I think of the movie, "The Prince of Egypt," or maybe the "Ten Commandments," when I read this text and envision this wall of soldiers racing to the Red Sea to try and stop the Isralites from crossing. What happened to these men on chariots and horses though? The Red Sea collapsed upon them and they all died. Their chariots did not save them in moments of battle. We have plenty of battles that go on everyday that we attempt to fight with our "Modern Day Chariots."

In times of hardship, rather than relying on your health and physical capabilities, your performance at work, your creativity in organization and your ability to persuade and communicate---putting your trust in God. Rather than relying on pleasurable things like sex, alcohol, pornography, sports, romantic novels and movies----putting your trust in God. Rather than relying on giving your kids everything they need, exhausting yourself in every activity known-to-man, studying harder ..putting your trusting in God. And rather than seeking out your daily quota of good deeds for the day to fulfill your requirement to earn your salvation, putting your life in the hands of Jesus Christ---and trusting that the LORD our God will save you.
Just stop and take a few minutes meditating on Psalm 20. Maybe explore those cross-references like “L” in verse 6 leads you to Isaiah and gives more insight on these “chariots” and “horses.” There are things in life that make sense to do –wearing a helmet, a seatbelt and using oven mits –I am not saying disregard these things and just rely on the LORD to save you  But what is it that you cling to if something were to happen to your loved ones? Your job? Your body? Do you ever imagine what life would be like without those things? If you cannot imagine seeing your life without them ---you need to take a step back and have a heart-check. I am not saying neglect your kids, your job, your body, your finances---but don’t also put all of your hope, joy and peace into those things—even a life is a temporary thing. Invest in things that will last by putting your trust in the LORD and believing that HE is big enough , strong enough, loving enough and forgiving enough to save you from whatever your facing!

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