Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:31
"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord"
This is a very interesting proverb reminding us that it is imperative that you do all you can to insure that you gain your goal, but its final accomplishment is not ultimately in your hands.
It is also a reminder that if you do not do all you should do, then you have almost guaranteed defeat.
Sometimes in the Christian world we want to do everything because we know that without Him nothing can succeed, but He has mandated that we must do our part or defeat is sure.
horse: This is the Hebrew word sus, which is the common word for horse. The common use of the horse for military purposes caused it to be viewed as a military weapon, not a mode of transportation or work animal as we might view it today.
prepared: This is the Hebrew word kun, which means establish, prepare, made ready. The idea is clearly that the horse has been trained to not panic in the midst of battle. It has been trained to do what it is supposed to do. It has been given the armor and battlements that it needs. All of these humanly controllable elements have been worked through, but that does not ensure victory. Victory is not in your hands but in the hands of the Lord.
You can do all that you were supposed to do and still not have victory in battle or any endeavor if the Lord does not allow it.
But on the other hand, you ensure defeat if you do not prepare as best you can.
victory: This is the Hebrew word tesua, which means salvation, deliverance. Thus it is translated victory in this instance. It is the accomplishment of the goal. It is the deliverance that is sought. It is the solution to the problem or the salvation of the ravages of the problem.
belongs: The word belongs is not in the original Hebrew but instead is a supplied word to give a better understanding of the idea in the verse. The phrase in the original reads the victory is the Lord's.
Lord: This is the Hebrew word Yahweh, which is the personal name for God. It is the name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush.
We must do all we can to accomplish the godly goals that God has put before us; and then we must have the humility to realize that God could, in His wisdom and sovereignty, thwart our plans and not accomplish what we set out to accomplish. It is really His decision and not ours that is the reason that things get done. Ninety-percent plus (90%+) of the time when we prepare adequately and do all that we know to do, it will meet with the success that we seek. But there are those times when no matter that you were prepared and had the best plan, what you want to accomplish will not happen. Every good leader is forced to recognize the sovereign hand of God or as those who are unbelievers call it: the hand of fate.
Two lessons here: What we decide will happen is not the final decision. If we do not prepare the horse for battle we will insure defeat.
Are you adequately preparing?
Are you willing to accept that God may say no to your best laid plans?