Victory Belongs to the Lord

Read: Psalm 33

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD. (Prov. 21:31)

In the psalmist’s day, horses and chariots were the weapons of superpowers, the tanks and missiles and aircraft of the ancient world. When Pharaoh pursued the escaping Israelites into the wilderness, what made their position seem hopeless was the Egyptians’ chariot army that was pinning them against the sea. But we know how that turned out. “The king is not saved by his great army” (Ps. 33:16).

A quotation variously attributed says that “God is on the side of the big battalions.” It does seem like the strong usually win the battle. Very rarely does a David defeat a Goliath. But our proverb is asserting the truth of the biblical doctrine of providence. God really does rule the world. His will, not human might, determines the outcome. The issues of victory or defeat, success or failure, life or death, actually are in the hands of the Lord.

Victory belongs to the Lord, yes. But there are two opposite errors we can fall into. One is believing that all you need is a big enough horse, as if human knowledge or technology is enough to win whatever battle you are facing. The other error is believing you don’t need any horse at all. Read the pro verb again. Victory belongs to the Lord, but the horse is still made ready for the day of battle. Because God works his providential will through human means. —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for the human means (medicine, governments, families) God uses to help you win your battles.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.