The Racing Horse

Bible Reading:
Psalm 32: 1-11

Text verse: 9
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding:
whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

It was Job that once said:
Job 12:7
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.

We have all heard sermons on the 4 Horses of Revelation or the horses of Zechariah but I
wonder if you have ever heard a Preacher stand still at our Text verse and repeat it’s warning:
“Be ye not as the horse, which has no understanding !

Have you ever wondered why the Bible says these words ?

A House of Prayer
But first as I stand here this morning, I am reminded that this Place
- this Building-
should be known far and wide as a House of Prayer.
Friends, this Building is not the Church - we together make the Church!
-this is merely the meeting place of the Church -
and this meeting place should merely be called the gathering place of the Church.

It was Charles H Spurgeon who once said that Faith is the road between a soul and heaven.
Take faith away he said and in vain you call to God.
Take faith away and there is no road between a soul and heaven.

In the deepest wintertime of problems and despair there is a road
- the road of faith -
faith in an Almighty and all Powerful God
- a God of whom the Scriptures say:

Malachi 3:6
For I am the LORD, I change not !

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Spurgeon says that “Horses of Prayer” travel on this road of faith between a soul
and the very throne of God !

Friend, it may be the deepest wintertime in your life,
the biting frost may afflict you, the wind may be howling around your ears
and a storm may be raging in your midst
but if you are travelling on the road of faith
- your horses of prayer are galloping with the answer to your prayer need -
this very moment !

Keep your road of faith open don’t blockade your road with unbelief or disobedience
or wrong living for how then will be able to communicate with the Great King
if your horses of Prayer cannot travel on the road of faith ?

The Durban July
In Bible times horses were used mainly in battle.
They were mostly used as animals of war - war-horses !
In Job
- considered as the oldest book in the Bible by some Scholars -
Chapter 39
we have a fine description of a War horse.
While in Exodus 14 we find the Egyptians pursuing the Children of Israel.

Exodus 14:7
And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all
the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every
one of them.

Exodus 14:23
And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after
them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s
horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

Well, we know the outcome - they were all destroyed in the Red Sea !

Friend, I but ask - surely, if the Almighty God could destroy the enemy of HIS children
then could He not destroy the enemies of HIS children even today ?
Travel the Road of Faith this very day and then the following promise is yours:

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

But in more Modern times Horses were used as means of transport -
Horse drawn carriages made travelling more comfortable for wealthy people.
Goods were more easily transported in wagons pulled by horses.

But the Steam Train and the modern Motor Vehicle has changed all that - today, horses are
bred almost exclusively for Sport and in particular Horse-racing the - Sport of Kings !

The most famous Horse Race in South Africa - the Durban July -
The excitement, the Hype in Kwa Zulu-Natal during July is experienced
by all who live in that part of the world !
The Hotels are full and the Holiday season is in full swing.
The “Durban July Fever” has arrived
- The newspapers are filled with it - The TV - The Radio -
The only topic of conversation, is who will win the Durban July !
The Fashion Houses will model their latest creations at the “Durban July” !

Many, many stories can be told about the Durban July Horse Race -
As a Child, I still vividly remember all the Drama surrounding the
legendary horse “Sea Cottage” !
It was the favourite horse to win the July - It was Headline news -
called the wonder horse of South African Horse racing !
Everyone spoke about Sea Cottage - and then the news broke -
Sea Cottage had been shot while training on the beach early one morning
- It had only been wounded - but now it would not be able to take part in the July -
For weeks the newspapers reported nothing else
- finally the culprit was apprehended - a local Bookmaker had hired him -
It was reported that almost all the Bookmakers in Natal would have
faced bankruptcy should Sea Cottage have won the July that Year.

Have you ever witnessed a Horse Race ?
Examined the crowd - seen the excitement as the race is run ?

Broken leg
One of the saddest things that happens at a Horse race is when a horses stumbles
and falls and in the process breaks it’s leg !
A Curtain is erected around the horse and a gun shot is heard !
Why is it necessary to shoot a horse when it breaks its leg ?

A dog with a broken leg has enough sense and patience to hold it up.
But a Horse will put its entire weight on it and it is just impossible to treat it successfully.
A Horse is such a poor patient He won’t be immobilised
He will constantly bang a cast He will constantly fight a sling
He will just not be calm enough for the broken leg ever to heal !

So foolish that our Text verse says
Psalm 32: 9
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding:
whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

We find part of this Scripture also in:
James 3:3
Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us;
and we turn about their whole body.

Listen to what James says further:
James 3:5-6
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.
Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity:
so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body,
and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

A horse has no understanding so we put bits in it’s month to make it obey us.
Likewise the Bible warns us that we are just as foolish if we do not learn to control our tongue !
Your tongue and mine can kindle a fire that can destroy a lifetime’s labour if not controlled !
Your tongue and mine can either build this work up or break it down !
Your tongue and mine can either encourage people to come and hear the Word of God
in this place or encourage them to stay away !

Be ye not as the horse, which has no understanding:
whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle !

The End of the Race
The Horse which has no understanding - but how like the man at the racecourse.
A Bet - a wager is placed on a horse.
The excitement mounts as the race is run - The horse must win - the only thing that now matters
- the horse must win - all is wagered - the horse must win - else all is lost !

The excitement mounts and explodes when the horse wager romps home to win !
But for another - the utter despair - when another horse also wagered
loses to the winning horse by a nose length -
Tickets torn and thrown in utter despair high in the air.
A dream broken -a hope lost - a life shattered
all because of a wager on a horse that has no understanding !

Little wonder that it is said that a Racehorse is an animal
that can take a thousand people for a ride at the same time.

The Apostle once said:
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course (Afrikaans - the race),
I have kept the faith.

Friend, when the final race is finished where will you end ?
And the race will end for the Bible says:

Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgement.

In closing I want to remind you of the first time that a horse is mentioned in the Bible.
It is found in:

Genesis 47:17
And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses,
and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses:
and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.

The 7 years of Plenty in Egypt had turned into 7 years of famine.
Everything had to be exchanged for life providing bread
even the horses of the Egyptians !

Friend, now I ask - In the day of your death:

Mark 8:36-37
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

When you finish this earthy race -
Where friend, will you spend eternity ?

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Pastor CSJ Claassen
PO Box 99

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