Proverbs 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
God had commanded His people to not use horses (Deuteronomy 17:16) so they were not used in any battles before the time of Solomon. However, Solomon disobeyed; (see 1 Kings 10:29.) Here in Proverbs 21, he acknowledges that no matter how strong and well prepared the cavalry may be, still safety, escape, and victory, are of the Lord. This is consistent with what we have been learning about the sovereignty of God.
In the time of King Hezekiah, the people of Judah were surrounded by their enemies, the Assyrians. Who would they trust?
- Their armies?…woefully inadequate on comparison to the enemy forces.
- Their horses?…they were no match for the chariots and cavalry of their enemy.
- Their walls? Should they surrender? Hezekiah turned to God in prayer:
Isaiah 37— And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
“Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh. And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of Ararat, Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
We often give the credit of a victory to our own preparations and skills, when if we really consider the circumstances, we will see that the victory came from God.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.