MARCH 20, 2023



“Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you” (Psalm 32:9 New King James Version).

In Psalm 32, David talked about his sin and God’s forgiveness. He said in verse 2, “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (New King James Version). He was most probably referring to himself.

He went further to talk about what happened to him before and after he acknowledged his sin. “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (verses 3-5 New King James Version).

God forgives sins. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. According to Paul, “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin” (Romans 4:7-8 New King James Version).

Drawing from his experience, David said all the godly should pray to God while there was still time so that they might not drown in the floodwaters of judgment (Psalm 32:6). He also declared that God was his hiding place and He would preserve him from trouble and surround him with songs of deliverance.

The next two verses show God speaking: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (verse 8 New King James Version). David needed to hear this after God had forgiven him so that he would walk upright before Him. He wrote this down for us to learn from.

If a man listens to God’s instructions, obeys His teachings, and follows His guidance, he cannot go wrong. He will not fall into sin or be overcome by temptations. Such a person will prosper in all He does. Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, and teach out of Your law” (New King James Version). David prayed in Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (New King James Version). This is a good prayer point to pray.

However, much as God wants to instruct, teach, and guide human beings, not everyone is willing to listen to Him. And God will not force Himself on anyone. That’s why in Psalm 32 that we are looking at, after God told David He would instruct, teach, and guide him, He warned him, “Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you” (verse 9 New King James Version). This is not a warning for everyone, not only David.

The New Living Translation puts the verse thus: “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” The Living Bible says a similar thing: “Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line!”

Note the two animals mentioned in this scripture: the horse and the mule. They belong to the same family. They are working animals. But they are animals that cannot be governed except by force. Their mouths must be held in with bits and bridles. Note also that this scripture says these animals have no understanding or are senseless. Don’t be senseless or lack understanding.

God said concerning the people of Judah, “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge” (Jeremiah 4:22 New King James Version). Don’t be like the horse or the mule which will not come to you willingly but must be forced.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary describes a mule as a hybrid animal, the offspring of a horse and an ass. It adds: “The mule is smaller than the horse, and is a remarkably hardy, patient, obstinate, sure-footed animal, living, ordinarily, twice as long as a horse.”  God warned David not to be like the horse or the mule that must be governed by force or be forced to come near or to obey. They will not come nearer and be kept under control without bits and bridles. James 3:3 says, “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body” (New King James Version).

God wants to relate to us as His children. He doesn’t want to lead us by force or through punishment. Compare what the Bible says about the horse and the mule to what it says about the sheep. Jesus said He knew His sheep and they knew Him (John 10:14). He said in verse 16 that He had other sheep who would hear His voice. There is no mention of bits and bridles here. No force. Jesus also said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (New King James Version).

God wants us to be sheep, not horses, mules, or goats. The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd and follow him. Don’t be stupid or senseless like horses and mules that must be led with ropes to make them obey. Be willing and obedient (Isaiah 1:19). Let God instruct, teach, and guide you as His child. Obey His Word in the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 says as many as are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Hear the voice of your father and obey Him. Proverbs 26:3 says, “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the fool’s back” (New King James Version). Don’t be like the horse or the mule that must be forced to obey.

God said about the Israelites, “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” (Psalm 81:13-14 New International Version). But they didn’t listen to Him until God sent them into captivity or exile. Listen to God. Let Him, instruct, teach, and guide you. Don’t be like the horse or the mule. Submit to God (James 4:7a). Don’t be stubborn; don’t be obstinate. Humble yourself in His sight (James 4:10a). Be instructible. Be teachable; be guidable.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my past disobedience and failure to follow Your instructions, teachings, and guidance. Forgive me and help me to obey You willingly. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. I shall not be like the horse or the mule in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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