Have you ever seen the movie, “War Horse”? Well, hold that thought in your pocket: we’re going to come back to it, I promise.
In the mean time…
I have simply relished my morning time in God’s Word as I’ve steadily made my way through Second Chronicles. The tales of king after king waltz across my mind’s eye in vivid color as I gaze upon their risings up and their fallings down. All their strengths and weaknesses seem to come alive, tantalizing me with their vibrancy of truth.
This morning, after I finished the brief chronology of Jotham, I could not help but contrast him with his father, Uzziah; particularly, I am certain, because I quickly noticed I had penned an underline of their individual summaries on the same small page–and each of these sentences contained an identical word: the Hebrew word chazaq.
Now I don’t lay claim to any sort of scholarly understanding of ancient Hebrew, thus when a word or phrase catches my eye I gratefully look it up on http://www.blueletterbible.org. Accordingly in these instances, the word chazaq means to grow strong. But check out this little note: “Verbs of binding, tying, girding, are applied to strength, inasmuch as with muscles well bound and with loins girded, we are stronger; on the other hand, if ungird, the weaker.” Hence, these two men grew stronger because they were girded up.
However, though each started out in the right direction, they each had different outcomes.
Uzziah: “But when he was strong (chazaq) he grew proud, to his distruction” (2 Chronicles 26:16).
Jotham: “”He became mighty (chazaq) because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 27:6).
Hidden in these parallels lies a remarkable truth: nothing challenges the character of a man like growing strong. If you want to see the true makeup of a man, give him a measure of success.
And I could not help but think of my son.
After months of prayer and hard work, Josh made his verbal commitment to play football for a college yesterday. A dream come true. A measure of success.
Who will he become?
I desire with my whole heart that he will make the choices which will lead him to grow strong like Jotham–that he will “become mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.” I pray he will choose to bind himself to his God–that his strength will come under the control and direction of his Lord.
Enter the War Horse.
I can think of no other creature more magnificent–more inspiring–than this massive beast of power and obedience. Though mighty, he devotedly yields his strength and abilities to his Master. He rushes not ahead nor lags behind any of his Master’s orders, and executes all commands with a mere nudge. He will serve his Master until his dying breath.
This is what I want for my son. This will become my prayer.
I can see him in my mind now, waiting for orders, refusing to budge until he receives them, and then executing them with every fiber of his being. I see him fully girded, eager to be about his Master’s business, yet exercising control until the the call comes. I see a yielded, strong young man–a man with power under control, “useful to his Master for every good work.” I see a War Horse.
“And He will make them like His majestic steed in battle” (Zechariah 10:3d).