Chariots and Horsemen

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

When King Joash learned that Elisha was dying, his thoughts immediately turned to Israel’s chariots and horsemen. In many ways, these were the foundations and symbols of the military strength and security of ancient peoples.

The Israelites had witnessed the importance of horses and chariots to Egypt. The song they sang after the Egyptians had been defeated describes how their horses, chariots, and horsemen “went into the sea” (Exodus 15:19).

Before the Israelites approached the Promised Land, God warned that they would face nations with horses and chariots (Deuteronomy 20:1). This is exactly what happened (Joshua 11:4).

We see the fear caused when Israel saw the horses and chariots of Aram. But Elisha was not terrified. He saw the situation from God’s perspective and prayed that his servant would realize that “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire” all around them (2 Kings 6:14-17).

The response of Joash to Elisha’s death was similar to Elisha’s reaction when he saw “a chariot of fire and horses of fire” took his master Elijah up to Heaven. Elisha cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” (2 Kings 2:11-12).

Israel would learn that the key was not horses and chariots, or men like Elijah and Elisha but trusting in God. He would warn, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots … but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1).

Today, remember this lesson: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7 ESV).