2 Samuel 8:4 David captured 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers from him, and he hamstrung all the horses and kept 100 chariots.
How powerful is the enemy of our souls? Hollywood has flooded our conscience with images of giant black winged beasts, invincible eternal vampires and zombies that just keep coming. And in every depiction, man is the underdog on the scramble to survive.
I love these few verses because it’s just the opposite of that. David’s powerful enemy is rendered impotent in a “matter of fact” methodical way: kill 2/3 of them, put guards around them and hamstring their horses. Hamstring their horses?
Horses are power. And in the days before tanks and trucks, horses were the power. In fact, God forbid Israeli kings to have a fleet of horses. Why? Too much power. (Yes, God is for small government, too.) To hamstring a horse was to disable it by cutting its Achilles’ tendons.
Consider that you might use the same technique in battle today.
On the war board there’s you and your family, enemies and a horse. Maybe a lot of horses. The enemy is Satan or his minions assigned to steal from, kill and destroy you using sin as their weapon. Of course, you’re the good guy in the story. But the horses – whose are they? Yours. What are they? Your evil desires. Take a look at James 1:14. Yes, we all have evil desires. Those are the horses and once the enemy mounts them, then your desire has conceived and the power of sin will overtake you. You lost that battle.
Conceived? Yep. That’s what James 1:15 says. That sounds like sex or something, doesn’t it? Yep again. That’s to what the Greek refers. So here’s the lesson today in one short line that is very easy for us to remember:
Evil desires? Don’t screw with ’em. Hamstring ’em.