Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. — Psalm 20:7
In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.
In Judaism, Psalm 20 is among the most well-known of all psalms. It is part of our daily prayer service because it speaks to the various struggles that we grapple with daily. Its message is beautifully summed up in verse 7: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” No matter what battle we are fighting in life right now, and no matter how much things seem to be not in our favor, God can help us be victorious.
This psalm, penned by King David, is reminiscent of his very first battle when he took on the giant Goliath. Everyone tried to talk him out of fighting the giant. David was just a boy, so small that the armor King Saul offered him only weighed him down, so he went into battle unprotected — by physical armor, that is.
But David came fully armored in the most impenetrable armor that exists — David came clothed in the name of God. He said to the giant Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…” (1 Samuel 17:45). And with God’s help, David took that giant down.
Here’s another story from Israel’s not-so-distant past. In spring 2003, Israel was fighting a war against terrorism. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were fairly successful, but a few battles were hard to win. One such fight took place in Jenin, a Palestinian stronghold. The Israeli fighters described an incident where the morale was very low. Many soldiers had already lost their lives, and as a last resort, an Israeli general had threatened over the loudspeaker to send in F-16 fighter jets. It was an empty threat that neither the soldiers nor the terrorists took seriously.
That is until a loud booming sound was heard moments later. At first the soldiers were confused, but then they realized the sound was thunder, even though it was spring and in Israel it never rains in the spring. The terrorists were not as wise. They immediately surrendered. When asked why, they said, “We heard the sound of fighter jets and knew we were defeated.” God’s thunder won the battle. A modern-day miracle!
With God on our side, we can slay any giant and overcome all adversity. No matter how big the obstacles seem, our God is bigger. No matter how mighty the enemy might seem, our God is even stronger. Let God fight your battles today — and every day — and you will be victorious.
Your turn: What battles are you fighting today? Like King David did, call on the name of God.
Hebrew Word of the Day
July 19, 2020
Temple — Beit hamikdash
YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS
Monthly Teaching Resource
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