Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Swifter Than Leopards, Clothed in Thunder, Prepared for Battle

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Psalm 150:6

What animal “[is] swifter than leopards, fiercer than the wolves at dusk” and “[flies] like an eagle ready to devour” (Habakkuk 1:8, NIV)?  Which creature’s “majestic snorting strikes terror” and “he devours the distance with fierceness and rage” (Job 39:20, 24, NKJV)?  According to Scripture, the horse is the answer to these descriptions. The majestic animal gallops into combat like no other—fearing no weapon and mocking at fear itself—and displays God’s magnificence as well. When picturing an animal from Scripture that teaches a lesson, we usually consider the ant or the lion. Although not especially recognized in the Bible, the horse is nonetheless a tool used by God, providing valuable and applicable examples to Christians.

In Scripture, the horse portrays glorious images of beauty and battle. When someone mentions “warriors,” we generally visualize men charging into combat. But in the book of Job, the horse fights as the bold hero. “He gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; nor does he turn back from the sword” (Job 39:21-22, NKJV). Jesus Himself sits upon a white horse as He makes war in the book of Revelation. With determination and confidence, the horse presents a courageous disposition like no other creature when stampeding into battle. Of course, this amazing animal’s attributes all come from God, who “give[s] the horse strength” and “clothe[s] his neck with thunder” (Job 39:19, NKJV). God illustrates His beauty, strength, and glory in the majestic design of the horse.

Outwardly, whenever we gaze at a horse, we generally admire the grace, beauty, and power, marveling at God’s incredible creation. Inwardly, however, we can also gain much. We often find ourselves reluctant and afraid to fight the battle of faith. Like the horse described in Job, we must mock at fear and gallop into the crusade of Christ, shying not at the spear of uncertainty or arrow of anxiety. In contrast, sometimes we rejoice too much in our own strength and beauty rather than using our God-given gifts for His glory. Instead of boasting in our stallions of self-importance or our chariots of charm as mentioned in Psalm 20:7, we must boast only in the Lord our God, for “the horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31, NASB). Praise belongs to God. He—the ultimate Victor—creates the magnificent, fearless, inspiring horse.



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