Spurs are a tool most people associate with the cowboy. The spur fits or is strapped to the heel of a boot and extends back varying lengths. Some spurs are simple straight shanks (necks) ending in a point. Others have a rowel (wheel with points) at the end. Usage of spurs dates back to the Celts, Romans, and Arabs. Above all other uses, the predominant historical usage of the spur is as a prod to guide a rider’s horse. Specifically designed for battle, the spur enabled the rider to busy his hands with weaponry while maneuvering his horse with his spurs and legs. Spurs have additionally been worn for looks or style, being a variety of metals, jeweled, or designed to jingle. Another usage is to indicate rank or class; in fact, the phrase “earned his spurs” looks back to a time when spurs were awarded those who were knighted. Spurs were even awarded by the Pope to those belonging to the militia group “The Order of the Golden Spur”.
Considering the predominant usage of the spur as a guide or prod, there are some helpful Biblical applications which can be made. The words exhort, beseech, provoke, and encourage are similar to the word spur and the Bible uses these terms quite often. The apostle Peter exhorted the people on the day of Pentecost toward salvation:
Acts 2:40 – And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation.
The apostle Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to live in a way that would please God:
I Thessalonians 4:1 – Finally then, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as ye received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, even as ye do walk, – that ye abound more and more.
The writer of Hebrews exhorted Christians to “exhort one another daily” so they would not be overcome in sin:
Hebrews 3:12-13 – Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin:
Christians could be called the spur of God. They are to prod one another to love and good works and not let up:
Hebrews 10:24-25 – and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.
Spurs guide man to take the proper steps down the right path. It has been said that God must like cowboys because he made so many wide open spaces. Perhaps now, it can also be seen that God also appreciates good quality spurs.