HORSE IS A VAIN THING FOR SAFETY

Leslie M. John

”An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength” (Psalms 33:17)

Solomon worshipped at Gibeon and went to Jerusalem and reigned over all Israel. However, very early in his rule he gathered chariots and horses and horsemen and that was a sure sign that his kingdom was heading towards downfall.

The LORD God gave detailed instructions as to what the children of Israel should do when they go come into the Promised Land. Moses led the children of Israel up until the entrance of the Promised Land but because he failed in command of God he could not enter into the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb led the children of Israel, not those who left Egypt, but their children into the Promised Land. The Israelites who left Egypt redeemed from the bondage of Slavery under Pharaoh committed abominations displeasing the LORD and therefore, they could not enter the Promised Land as well. Their children who were born on their journey from Egypt to Canaan were led into the Promised Land by Joshua and Caleb.

The LORD foresaw the pride and disobedience of the children of Israel in the Promised Land and that they shall demand to set a king over themselves just as the nations around them would have. The LORD said, in such circumstances the choice of setting a king shall be the one whom the LORD shall choose and one from their brethren. The LORD commanded them that no stranger would become king over them. In the same tone the LORD very firmly said that they shall not multiply horses to themselves, nor should they multiply wives for themselves or multiply for themselves gold and silver. There was reason to give such command to the children of Israel. Surely multiplying wives would turn their hearts from the LORD as also multiplying gold and silver would turn their hearts from the Him.

Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:20 for our benefit that we should lay up treasures in heaven.

”But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20)

Very important was the instruction that they should not multiply horses to themselves. One would wonder what the reason would be to give such a command. It was the horses and chariots that cause men to be proud of their strength.

When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17)

The LORD desires that His children should depend fully upon Him and not in the strength that the world offers. The horses and chariots are considered a definite strength and decisive weapons during war. However, the strength from the LORD is greater than that comes from possessing horses and Chariots. Egyptians pursued the children of Israel, but the LORD’s strength prevailed over Pharaoh’s army, chariots, and horses and they were all drowned in the Red Sea. (cf. Exodus 14:9)

Psalmist wrote…

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalms 20:7)

”It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes” (Psalms 118:8-9)