By Anna Barker

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

This is such a simple verse but a remarkable reminder of the basis of our faith and hope. Although David wrote this psalm centuries ago, it still has a powerful relevance to everyone in existence today.

The physical elements in which some put their trust might have changed, but the message has not. Anyone who seeks to re-examine their priorities can use this verse to see where their trust lies. “Some trust in {their jobs} and some in {financial success}, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” No matter the circumstances, the trust holder of the one who follows God remains the same – the name of the LORD our God.

This is the very message God told His people through the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 30-31, God declared judgment upon His “rebellious people.” The people had become rebellious by starting to look for physical things in which to put their trust. According to 30:1-2, Jerusalem had begun to seek refuge and protection from Egypt, neglecting the protection of the Lord.

Isaiah continued in 31:1, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!”  From this we can see that relying only in the strength of the Lord, and not in that of any other, has been a struggle ever since sin came into the world. From Isaiah 30-31, we can also identify our position before God when we trust in the tangible elements of the world.

  • We are carrying out a plan that is not God’s (30:1)
  • We make alliances with Satan (30:1)
  • We add sin upon sin (30:1)
  • We resist His direction (30:2)
  • We seek shelter from earthly matters (30:2)
  • We are unwilling to hear instruction (30:9)
  • We despise the Word of the Lord (30:12)
  • We trust in oppression (30:12)

Although there are scores of scriptures with which we could combat each of these poor states of mind, we will look at steps that lead to a consistent trust in God. The merciful, compassionate, all-loving God whom we serve does not pronounce judgment without calling for repentance. There in the same chapters in which he spoke for God against Jerusalem, Isaiah also beckons those who will turn to God and rest faithfully in His protection.

Recognize Who God is

“The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit” (31:3). Isaiah reminded the people that the Egyptians, who Israel sought protection from, were merely people just like they were. God is our protector. God is our provider. God is all powerful. The writer of Psalm 146 also states in verses 3 and 5, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation … Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.”

We must remember that God is the sustainer of the universe; God is the One Who spoke life into darkness; and He is the One that gave the gift of salvation. When we refuse to give Him all our burdens, cares, worry, joys, thoughts, and hearts, we are denying Him the power to work in our lives.

Turn to Him

“Turn to him from whom people have deeply revolted, O children of Israel” (31:6). “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength’” (30:15).

Even though His people had turned away from Him and turned to idolatry and things of the worldly nature, the all-merciful Lord still beckoned His children back to Him. In 1 Samuel 8, the people of Israel had seen the example of other nations and saw that they were different, having no earthly king. Israel told Samuel to make them a king so they could be like all the other nations around them. Samuel prayed to God, and the Lord said, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.” (Vs. 7-8)

When we, God’s own creation who He called for His purpose, turn away to our own desires and passions, it hurts the Lord. Joel, also one of the Lord’s prophets, spoke to the people on behalf of the Lord saying, “’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster” (Joel 2:12-13). What a wonderful Bible study it would be to study how many times in scripture the Lord has pleaded with His people to return unto Him! Scriptures like these show us the great desire the Lord has for His people to be in Heaven with Him. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Put away your idols

In Isaiah 30:22, 31:7, the Lord is pleading with His people to return unto Him, reminding them that He is gracious, merciful, and patient. He says after the people turn away from their sin, they will set aside and turn away from the idols that they set before themselves. No longer would they trust in “chariots” or “horses” for their security but in the name of the Lord their God.

To be able to fully trust in the Lord, there some things from which we must turn away from:

  • Our own understanding: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
  • Every burden of sin: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrew 12:1-2).
  • The old man and its practices: “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires…and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22,24).

Wait for Him

“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (30:18).

Again, there are countless scriptures encouraging those who are weak to wait and rest in the Lord. How thankful we are that the Lord will keep His promises and will reward those who have been faithful to Him! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

Know that the Lord will protect

“Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it” (31:5).

Having an unwavering trust in the Lord means that we have no doubt the Lord will protect us from all harm. This is the kind of trust that gives us the assurance to say, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Recognizing our Father as the awesome, powerful God that He is, being willing to turn away from sin and turn to Him, and having a calm, trusting faith in the midst of every temptation will lead us to say: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

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