I was watching an old western the other day. This cowboy was trying to encourage some men to volunteer for a dangerous job. One particular man queried, “But is that job really safe?” The first cowboy declared, “Safe? Who knows what’s safe? My grandmother fought the Indians for forty years and then choked to death on lemon pie!” The statement made me chuckle, but when I was reading through Proverbs, I realized that that ficticious cowboy may have more wisdom than I originally gave him credit for.
Proverbs 21:31 says, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.” In Biblical times, the horse was a great asset in battle. A warrior on horseback was almost sure to win against a warrior on foot. If your horse was prepared, then you had a good chance of a fair outcome in battle.
But the idea of preparation is in contrast to the statement: Safety is of the Lord.
Haven’t you ever been completely and totally prepared, but for some reason everything went wrong. Your equipment refused to work, your tools broke, and your knowledge failed you. We’ve all been there. You can have all the preparation in the world, but only God can keep you safe. You can lock your doors at night, but a thief can break through. You can prove yourself to be an amazing worker, but your job is never truly secure. You can save up all the money you want, but real security can never lie with uncertain riches.
Safety is of the Lord.
God has given us many gifts, and He expects us to use them to His glory. Perhaps it is wise to lock your door at night. Yes, you should work hard and gain job security. You should save for those times of financial trouble. But none of those things can keep you safe. Only the Lord can give true safety.
So I challenge you, next time you go to lock a door, or contribute to a nest egg, or prepare yourself in any other way, remember where your true safety lies. God is the one who truly protects you. To trust in anything or anyone else is pure folly.
So to answer that old cowboy, “Who knows what’s safe?” I know what’s safe. Serving God and trusting Him with my security is the safest thing there is.
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7