The Created Can Never Replace The Creator
In Psalm 20, we find a powerful song of praise written by King David.
Presumably, David is about to go into battle against his enemies.
He is in distress, and while this is a song of praise, it is also a song of petition for victory.
My favorite line is found in verse 7, where he says:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Undoubtedly, David was planning to use both chariots and horses as he went up against the forces that threatened the security of Israel.
But his trust was in God.
One of the tensions we live in as Christians comes from the reality of living a life of faith in the divine in the midst of a human world. Yes, there are tangible tools that we use in order to find success in life: education, technology, machines, our words. All of these things are useful and necessary in finding solutions to the problems of life.
As David reminds us, though, the created can never replace the Creator.
Tools, be they horses and chariots, or the phone in our pocket, were never intended to be the source of our hope. The reason David had so much success in his life wasn’t because of the richness of the resources he had at his disposal (indeed, all of the kings after him had those same resources with much different effect). No, the reason David had success was because he refused to place his trust in things made by human hands. David’s trust was in the name of the Lord. It was God that would give the victory.
As we look at the battles we face in our own life, we must grapple with the same question. Where will we put our trust? Doctors can prescribe, but it is God who heals. Technology allows us to multiply our efforts, but it is God who gives us the wisdom to use it correctly. Our words can build up, but they can also tear down. It is the Holy Spirit working in us that gives them the power to transform.
How will you face the challenges that today brings? You aren’t the king of a nation, and yet you likely have many resources at your disposal. Your chance of victory today has less to do with what you use, and everything to do with where you place your trust.