King David, the author of this psalm, lived in an era of warfare. David knew that many kings trusted in the number of iron chariots they had at their disposal. City states relied on trained warriors. Wealthy nations depended on the horses they acquired for battle.
We may not live in a war zone, but we face various battles during our lives on earth. Our response to health crises, financial problems, or relationship breakdowns reveals to us where we put our confidence. We can depend on our own strength or brain power; we can look to the government to bail us out; we can follow the latest self-help guru. In this psalm, David shows us a better way.
As a man after God’s own heart, David knew that regardless of the strength of his army, God controlled the outcome.
So God calls us to put our trust in him, not in our own abilities.
When I experienced a long season of illness, pain became my everyday reality. Seeing doctors, undergoing tests, and trying different medicines filled my days and my thoughts.
As each new treatment failed to bring relief, I realized that I had begun to put my confidence in people, rather than in God. David’s refrain, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” reminded me to put my focus back on God.
God alone gives us the hope to endure.
Heavenly Father, only you are worthy of my trust. Everything else and everyone else will eventually fail me. Help me to see this reality clearly, so that I put my confidence in you alone. Amen.
Go Deeper — What things do you tend to put your confidence in? Money and possessions? Career and status? Fitness and healthy eating? Paraphrase Psalm 20:7 to address the things you are tempted to trust in, rather than God, then speak truth to yourself by repeating the verse aloud.
Read Further — Has anyone ever told you to prepare yourself by imagining the worst-case scenario? Read this story, Careless Confidence, about how confidence in God can free us from worry.
Photo Credit: Bruno Nascimento