Monday, July 11, 2016

The Saddle Blanket (Doug White)

Tonight's entry is again by Doug White, a college friend from Harding University and now a pharmacist in Louisiana. Doug is a Biblical scholar and edits a great bulletin for his congregation. Prayers for me in Vietnam!

I guess if one wants to split hairs, there is a difference between a 'horse blanket' and a 'saddle blanket'.  I'm sure my equestrian friends are very aware of this fact, but I was ignorant of it until I began to research for this article. The horse blanket seems to cover most of the horse's body, neck, flanks, etc, and is particularly used in cold weather. While the saddle blanket (above) is much smaller, and is used primarily for the horse's comfort, as a buffer between the rough saddle and his/her back.
God told Peter to write a passage in his first epistle which is one of my favorites. It should be easy for us to memorize as it is found in what we know as 1 Peter 5:6-7 [5,6,7-get it? :))]
It goes like this: 6  Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time,
5:7  casting all your anxiety onto Him, for He cares for you.
OK, sounds good to me. I'd love to be 'exalted', or lifted up, by God, wouldn't you? But, how do I get that to happen? Well, according to Peter here, I need to humble myself.
Well, again, OK. Sounds good, sounds doable, but specifically, 'how', do we humble ourselves before God in order to allow Him to 'exalt' us?
If you bring this passage before a Bible class and ask them the question I just asked, you'll get answers all over the board.
"Well, we must think of others first."
"Not think too much of ourselves."
"Don't be too prideful," etc. etc and on and on it goes.
All of these are true statements but they are not Peter's answer to the question as found in this passage.
Verse 7 tells us, commands us, to cast ALL of our anxieties (cares, problems, worries, 'issues', etc) on God. Why? Because He cares for us and He wants us to, that's why.
So, if we do what verse 7 commands, then what happens?
We get verse 6.
You see, in order to 'humble ourselves under God's mighty hand,' as in verse 6, we need to admit that we can't handle all of our cares by ourselves (humbling attitude) and cast them all on God.
This has us admitting that it is God's hand that is 'mightier than us.'
So, in some sort of a Divine reverse order, we get Verse 6, which we want, by doing Verse 7 first.
OK, got it, right? Well, almost.
What does it mean to  cast all your anxiety onto Him? Well, once again our fictitious 'class' will give you all sorts of answers and most would be correct but many would still not tell you 'how to do it.'
The original Greek in this passage will bring it home to you. (Thank you E-sword).
The word for 'cast' there is used only one other time in the Scriptures. The day before Jesus was to be crucified He came into Jerusalem with His men and He asked them to go on ahead and find a colt that was waiting for Him. One that had never been ridden, remember?
This is found in Dr. Luke's Gospel and it goes like this, 19:35  And they brought him  (the colt) to Jesus. And they threw their garments on the colt. And they set Jesus on it.
Just like when we opened today's article, they knew this colt needed to be comfortable with Jesus upon his back so they threw their garments on the colt.
This word in Luke that is translated "threw" is the exact same word found in 1 Peter that is translated "cast" as in cast all of your cares upon Him.
So, to get God's true meaning in 1 Peter 5:6-7, take ALL of you cares, problems, worries, etc and "throw them over onto God's back," as a saddle blanket, and let Him carry them for you!  He is stronger, He is able.
Once the saddle blanket is on the horse's back, it is no longer in your hands! It is on His back.
And, one other thing. Once you have 'humbled yourself,' by 'throwing all of your cares onto God's back,' don't reach over and take some or all of them back, as we are want to do.  Leave's a command.
Hope everyone's day is blessed.

God bless, Steve Luke 18:1 E-mail me at

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