The Only Hope for the World
Yesterday I took my Thoroughbred “Traveller” for a long ride. Check that. Traveller took me for a ride. Before I acquired him he used to race in California and, like most Thoroughbreds, was bred for one purpose: to be a lean, mean, racing machine. Traveller thinks he has only one gait—the flat-out gallop—which, by the way, suits me just fine.
I remember when we first moved to North Carolina. I had just taken Traveller through a section of woods on a neighboring farm when we came out onto a large oval-shaped field of hay, whose edges had just been bush-hogged (as is the custom here). Traveller took one look at that oval shape, figured he was back on the track in California, and off we went, afterburners blazing. I held onto the reins the best I could until I could get him back into a manageable gallop. That day I learned an invaluable lesson: Once a race horse, always a race horse.
Traveller is the opposite of Cody, my Arabian gelding. Cody will always be special to me, since he was my first horse. Each summer my wife and I would take our sons and our tent trailer to some new destination, and one year we headed for eastern Montana to do some fishing on the Tongue River. One evening we stopped for dinner in a little town called Cody, Wyoming, where we saw a handbill for the local rodeo. We decided to attend, and as I watched those magnificent horses doing their thing I thought, My, What a marvelous animal! When I get back to California I’m gonna get me one.
And I did. A neighbor had this young, light gray, “greenbroke” Arab for sale and, not knowing what “greenbroke” meant, I thought it was a pretty good deal. I purchased the horse and named him (of course) “Cody.” Having grown up in Hawaii the only “riding” I had done was on surfboards, so you might say that Cody and I learned to ride together. After months of daily practice (and numerous “unplanned dismounts”), I became a fairly proficient rider and was even able to teach Cody a few dressage moves, including the very difficult canter pirouette.
It’s amazing to me, but horses seem to know who’s on their back. I recall a brash upstart of a young lady who once wanted to ride Cody and “teach him a few things.” It wasn’t two minutes before Cody had that girl flat on her back in the arena. On other occasions we’ve had upwards of 175 students and their children to our ranch for dinner, and I would give all the kiddies a horsie-back ride on Cody. Without fail, Cody was as gentle as a dove when the children were on his back.
Now the difference between an Arabian and a Thoroughbred is more than height. The Arab, you might say, is the original horse—the way “God made them.” The Thoroughbred, on the other hand, is a purely man-made variety designed, as I said, for one purpose: speed. So while taking the children for a ride on Cody I would often ask them, “When Jesus comes back from heaven, do you know what He’ll be riding? That’s right—a white horse, and it’ll probably look just like the one you’re riding now.” I then ask them to get mommy and daddy to read for them the nineteenth chapter of Revelation when they get home to see for themselves.
Revelation 19 is probably the most dramatic chapter in the Bible. Here the living Savior returns to earth to crush all opposition to the truth and to establish His kingdom. The main event announced by the Old Testament prophets is not the judgment of the world or the triumph of the church but the glorious advent of the rider on the white horse. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on His head are many crowns. At the incarnation Christ was crowned in humility, but now He is crowned with honor as King of kings and Lord of lords. What a privilege it will be to see the great Bridegroom and to be a part of His beloved bride. As the great 18th century writer Samuel Rutherford put it:
There is only one ray of hope in today’s world, and that is the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. All other hopes are blasted hopes, whether they are based on science, politics, or religion.
Friends, this is not a fairy tale; this is the Word of God. The second coming of Christ is the culmination of all biblical prophecy.
Are we ready to meet Him?
July 27, 2003
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.