I CHRONICLES 14:13-15: “And the Philistines yet again a made a raid in the valley. 14 And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: What was the key to David’s success in battle? Was it his great skill as a warrior that he had achieved during his lifetime? Was it the size of his army? Was it his courage and tenacity? All of these things were present, but they were not the secret to David’s success. The secret to David’s success was that he was a man who sought after God continually. He was a man after God’s own heart.
In this chapter we read of two encounters between Israel and the Philistines. The Philistines had gathered their army against Israel. Israel had gathered their army in response (it is always wise to be prepared). Yet, David did not simply plunge into battle – he inquired of the Lord. Verse 10 says – “And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up,”
David obeyed the Lord, went up against the Philistines, handily defeating them. He called the place Baal-perazim, literally – god of the breakthrough – for the Lord had broken the power of Baal and defeated His enemies like a bursting flood. David showed his heart again by giving God the glory, and by burning all the idols of Baal. The enemy had been defeated because David inquired of the Lord, listened to His voice, and obeyed His command.
However, as often happens in life, this was not the end of the struggle. We have an adversary who continually attacks our lives. We daily face challenges to our faith and to our obedience. How do we continually walk in victory? We need to take a page from David’s playbook. We cannot afford to simply rely on our past victories. We cannot risk relying on our acquired wisdom or experience. We must inquire of the Lord for His will and direction at every step, at every turn. This is what David did, and this is the reason he had such great success.
It would have been easy for David to say – “Let’s do it again! We know what to do!” Yet, David did not do this, he inquired of the Lord – again. “And when David again inquired of God…” – God gave him both “specific” and “different” instructions. He was not to simply charge ahead, but he was to circle around and wait for the sound of marching. David did not argue with the Lord. David obeyed each instruction, and the army of Israel once again put to flight the army of the Philistines. What would happen in our lives if we simply got on our knees to inquire of the Lord before we charged forward into the day? What would happen in our lives if we humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God and laid down our well crafted plan – to seek His perfect and sovereign plan?
Lord, I come before You this morning with a mind filled with plans and ideas. Your Word proclaims – “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV) Lord, I lay my plans at the foot of the cross this morning and I come to inquire of You. Establish Your plan in my life. May Your Kingdom come, may Your will be done in my life, on earth, as it is in heaven. Direct my steps this day I pray. In Jesus Name!