Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. —Psalm 20:7
Every year on 9 August, when they hear jet engines roaring overhead, my children will race to the window to spot our Air Force fighter jets zooming in formation across the skies. They love to watch the National Day celebrations and marvel at the impressive aerial manoeuvres and parade of military vehicles. To my children, these displays showcase our nation’s strength.
Many other countries do this, too. But it ought to have been different for Israel, who was meant to show the world what it was like to be a nation under God’s rule. They were to put their trust in God, rather than in military might.
King David had been victorious in all his battles, not because of Israel’s power or size, but because God was on his side (1 Chronicles 11:9). David knew this, and so did his men (12:17, 18). Yet, when enemies were threatening to conquer the promised land, David thought it prudent to “know how many [troops] there are” (21:2). Instead of trusting in God’s unfailing power, he wanted to see the numbers, to reassure himself of his military might. This was a terrible insult to God!
Do we sometimes also trust in the wrong things for safety, such as the numbers on our academic transcripts or in our bank accounts? Let us be assured that just as Israel’s strength was not in numbers but in the Lord, our true security lies in Jesus Christ alone. For He is with us in every trial and challenge.