When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went out to meet them. Now the Philistines had come and raided the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of God: “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The Lord answered him, “Go, I will deliver them into your hands.”
1 Chronicles 14:8-10
The enemies of King David and Israel went out ‘in full force’ to find David and when David hears about it, he goes out to meet them. He is a confident warrior-king, to be sure. By this point David had defeated the Philistines enough times to know that he could.
David then prays to God.
In the process of soldiering and defense of his kingdom, David asks God if He will deliver the Philistines into his hands… and God answers! Yes He will! Specifically God answers David with these words: ‘Go, I will deliver them into your hands.’
Which is exactly what happens.
Because of David’s love for and relationship with God we understand that if God has said ‘Stop’ or ‘Retreat’ that David would have followed those instructions. 1 Chronicles 14 tells of a second time that David stops and asks for direction from God. The ultimate answer is ‘Yes.’ God will give David victory over the Philistines, but the specifics are different.
“Once more the Philistines raided the valley; so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, “Do not go directly after them, but circle around them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.” (vs. 13-16)
There are many times… even most of the time, when the objective is clear (defeat God’s enemy), but I do not stop and ask for directions. How crazy is that!? If we’re doing God’s work and living God’s life it ought to be natural to ask God about the specifics. How does He want me to proceed? Will He give success?
There are so many variables to life and ministry. Timing, strategy, wording, process, people… all of these can be taken to God for insight, help and blessing.
King David became famous because of his dependance on God. I want that to be true of me. Thankfully, I know more of his story… enough to know that he wasn’t perfect and did sin greatly against God. There was repentance, however, and mercy was given to David. He struggled but was able to finish well.
Finishing well is harder than starting strong. Seeking God in prayer and asking for directions is key.
Lord Jesus, thank Your for being Lord over me. I am amazed by the grace You have given, that I could talk with You at any time. Thank You that by Your Spirit I receive instruction and directions from You. I live for You today.