A warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory. … Behold, the eye of the Eternal is on those who fear him, on those who hope for his extravagant kindness. Psalm 33:16-18
Strong and valiant warriors went down to glorious defeat at Thermopolae. Courageous and well-trained horses were not enough for Lee’s cavalry at Gettysburg. The strength of the Spartans had served them well in dozens of other battles. J.E.B. Stuart’s horses drove the Union army crazy for months. But success is not ultimately dependent on an army’s equipment or troop quality. God is sovereign over human affairs. Sometimes he works in ways we cannot see or understand. But frequently he acts in response to the relationship he has with his people. Indeed, he is particularly interested in seeing us maintain two complementary attitudes in our hearts. In so far as it depends on us, he grants success to those who fear and hope in God. Fear is fundamental. It keeps us from acting contrary to God’s requirements for justice, because our fear arises as we recognize and appreciate the consequences for disobedience. Hope for his grace, his extravagant kindness, honors his ability and intention to do more good than we could ever ask or expect. His severity and kindness frame our perception of him. Because God wants us to appreciate the fullness of his glory, he looks for people who are totally open to his involvement in their projects.
Father, my heart is completely yours. Let your gracious strength be shown perfectly in and through my humble weaknesses. Amen.