Taking Pride = Trusting

At first, this CSB rendering of a well-known ESV verse seems so different. Initially, I’m thinking that the two sets of translators seem to have ended up in very different places. But the more I chew on it this morning, the apparently different things of trusting and taking pride can actually be the same thing.

Psalm 20 is a prayer for those entering into battle, or as the songwriter puts it, entering into “a day of trouble” (20:1). It’s a cry for God to answer, for God to protect, for God to send help, and for God to sustain (20:1-3). It’s a prayer for God to grant the heart’s desire of the king and that the king would know victory (20:4-5, 9). But here’s the thing, it’s not an “I wish I may I wish might” type of prayer, it’s a prayer that is confident God will engage.

Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
with mighty victories from His right hand.
Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses,
but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God.

(Psalm 20:6-7 CSB)

And there it is, verse 7. I recognize the verse because I recoginze the chariots and horses. But it’s not the verse I know. Cue the ESV translation . . .

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

(Psalm 20:7 ESV)

Hmmm . . . trusting . . . taking pride. At first blush, those don’t seem to line up to me.

Dig a little into the original and you can see why the variation in translation.

Some of chariots, and some of horses, And we of the name of Jehovah our God make mention.

(Psalm 20:7 YLT)

Doesn’t use the word for trust in the original. Nor the word for take pride. Instead, it’s the word remember. As in, when talking of an outcome you remember it or make mention of it.

Okay, so I put myself in the songwriter’s sandals. I’m praying a prayer for victory in a day of trouble. I know I will enter the battle with whatever resources I have, but I am appealing to my God to be there with me, to go there before me. And I anticipate victory. So, how do I anticipate later talking of that victory? How do I anticipate remembering it? How do I imagine boasting about it? Well, if I imagine that I won’t be taking pride in my resources nor in how well I waged warfare — if I’m prepared now not to take pride in my chariots and in my horses but take pride in my God as the One who gives the victory, then am I not trusting in the Lord our God. Thinkin’ I am.

Preparing in advance to take pride in the Lord’s victory there and then has got to be one of the signs that I trust Him for the victory even as I pray for it here and now. Knowing now that my resources and my strength and my abilities are not what will ultimately win the day, even though I am certain I will win the day, is only possible as look to Him alone to win the day. Taking pride in what God is going to do only happens as I am trusting in what God is going to do.

Taking pride in what God is going to do before God does it. Hmm . . . sounds like trusting to me.

By His grace. For His glory.

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