«Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you frighten him like a locust? His majestic snorting strikes terror. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; he gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; nor does he turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, the glittering spear and javelin. He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded. At the blast of the trumpet he says, Aha!’ He smells the battle from afar, the thunder of captains and shouting» (Job 39: 19-25).
When I (L) was a little girl, I used to go out to the fields with my family on Sunday, and one of the things I liked most was going horseback riding. I remember I loved making the horse run as fast as possible. I felt his power go through me and it gave me an incredible feeling of freedom. Since then, the horse has been my favorite animal.
Sometimes, I think that the horse is also one of God’s favorite animals. In today’s Bible verse He describes this beauty of Creation in a surprising way. It is as if God had reprimanded the patriarch Job and said: «Have you seen how beautiful the horse is? Have you seen his mane waving on his neck? He is but so pretty that I even like how he blows his nose! («his majestic snorting strikes terror»). And that’s nothing. . . Do you realize how strong he is? If a sword threatens him, he does not turn back. He can feel the conflicts coming, he perceives the difficulties approaching, maybe the atmosphere becomes tense and it is probable that it soon escalates into battle. But he laughs at fear and he is not frightened as if saying: ‘I’m ready!’ He paws the ground and rejoices in his strength. He isn’t afraid of anyone!»
There is a basic principle in psychology with which we can modify our being by relying on contemplation. We assimilate the features of the one we admire and gradually become like the model. Maybe this is the reason why God reprimands Job in the hardest moment of his life and encourages him to admire the horse. It seems like God is telling him: «Look! You can also be like this!»
I truly believe that, for it to be possible, we need to go beyond psychology. The secret is connected with the first question of the text. Who has given the horse strength? It is the same Person who can give it to you.