His delight is not in the strength of the horse… Psalm 147:10
Horses have always figured prominently as symbols of strength. Their value as beasts of burden or as instruments of war was recognized throughout the ancient world. Kings measured their wealth and the swiftness of their armies by the size of their stables.
God had forbidden Israel’s leaders to imitate royal courts of other nations by amassing horses, trusting only in the might of such a formidable arsenal. The Lord himself was their security, and his delight would be in those who recognized his strength and remembered his faithfulness.
Had they not once rejoiced over the destruction of Pharaoh’s forces, singing, “The Lord has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea”? Another psalmist proclaims outright what Psalm 147 maintains obliquely: “The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.”
Deliverance for God’s people must come ultimately from God himself. Perhaps this is why, in the final pages of Scripture, Jesus Christ is pictured as a conquering rider on a white horse, with the armies of heaven following the only one called, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”