What Do Bells on Horses Have to Do with Discipleship?

What Do Bells on Horses Have to Do with Discipleship?

As disciples, we cannot compartmentalise between secular and sacred duties. God’s desire for us is that “the bells of the horses” will be every bit as consecrated to Him as the priestly uniform. He wants every square inch of our lives to be inscribed with the glorious placard, “Holy to the LORD”.

Let’s be honest, there are some strange verses in the Bible. Often, when we are reading through the Old and New Testaments, we come across a statement that sounds foreign and indecipherable, something that leaves us scratching our heads and wondering, “what on earth does that mean?”

One of these verses is found at the end of Zechariah. The prophet says, “And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the LORD”. Now, anyone who has read a bit of the Bible will know that bells and horses are not a common topic in the Scriptures. When we hear of horses, they usually come up with a warning directed to a king that such creatures are not a stable foundation of trust or accurate measure of wealth.  As for bells, they are only spotlighted when the priestly uniform is being tailored. Thus, it is indeed strange when a seer like Zechariah refers to a special set of bells being worn by horses that have a label which, elsewhere, is the exclusive property of the high priest. If we’re not asking, “What’s going on here!”, we’ve clearly dozed off. The image is divinely intended to catch our attention.

So, what is this verse trying to tell us? Essentially, the verse is alerting us to one of the great objectives of the entire mission of God. As we read our Bibles, one truth that progressively becomes clearer is that God is not content to limit the reach of holiness to a tiny room in a small tent among an obscure people. Rather, what we find as we turn the pages of our Bibles is that God’s final intent is to flood creation with His holy presence.

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