It’s been a morning of deliverance in my readings. And while the stories of deliverance are amazing, it is the Deliverer who “steals the show.” And David, the songwriter, caps it off nicely by reminding me it’s not about the horses.
First reading, Genesis 44 & 45. All Joseph’s brothers, including Benjamin, are in Egypt for the “big reveal.” Actually it starts out as the big scare when Benjamin is accused of ripping off pharaoh’s number 2 man in Egypt. But then Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and tells them of God’s great deliverance. Though they fear for their lives as they recall their treachery in selling their brother into Egypt, Joseph tells them, “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth . . . so it is not you who sent me here but God” (Gen. 45:5-8).
Freed from famine. Not by the latest agricultural breakthroughs or the discovery of alternative food sources. Not even by the best structured and administered relief programs. But by sending forth of a favored son. No horses.
Then I’m in Matthew 8. And the same Jesus who calms a mighty storm by His rebuke, casts out demons from two possessed and tortured men. The men are released of their spiritual bondage at the command of the Lord. Jesus says, “Go!” and the demons are exiled to a herd of pigs which then rush to their destruction.
Freed from demonic influence. Not by medication or counseling. Not by self-help programs. But by God’s favored Son. No horses.
Then, it’s Peter in prison in Acts 12. Peter’s going to be Herod’s “encore” performance. Herod has already executed James and that’s gone over pretty well with the Jews, so he has Peter arrested and imprisoned. Peter’s next. But an angel of the Lord visits Peter in his inner-prison cell. The angel says the word, or just thinks the thought, and Peter’s chains fall off. And together they walk out of the prison. Past the guards, through the gates, Peter ending up at an all-night pray meeting called on his behalf. A miraculous deliverance. An answer to prayer. A display of the Sovereign power of God over the rulers of the land.
Freed from chains. Not by some elaborate escape plan. Not by diplomacy and negotiation. Not by insurrection. But through a messenger sent by God’s favored Son. No horses.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for good agricultural practices and relief programs. Counseling can be life-saving and medication often effectively addresses the physiological sources of tormented behavior. And sometimes you just need to go in by force and spring the prisoner or come to a reasonable agreement to have him released. Those can all be good “horses” for the day of battle. But, at the end of the day, as David reminded me this morning, for the child of God, our faith isn’t in the horses.
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving might of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:6-9 ESV)
There is power in the Name of the LORD our God. There is power in the Name of Jesus. And, by His grace, it is in that Name we will trust. Amen?
For His glory . . .