World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
17. A horse is a deceitful thing for safety. In this verse, the Psalmist, by the figure synecdoche under the name of horse, is to be understood as meaning any kind of help. The sense is, that in general those who conceive that their life is well protected by earthly means, are commonly disappointed at the very crisis of danger, and are miserably beguiled to their utter undoing, so that God therein clearly shows them their folly. It is true, that kings are not armed with the sword in vain, nor is the use of horses superfluous, nor are the treasures and resources which God furnishes to defend men’s lives unnecessary, provided a right method of employing them be observed. But as the greater part of men the more they are surrounded with human defences, withdraw themselves the farther from God, and by a false imagination persuade themselves that they are in a haven safe from all disturbance, God acts most justly in disappointing this madness. This is the reason why his gifts often pass away without effect, because the world, by separating them from the giver, is also justly deprived of his blessing.