2 Samuel 5:24-25, NIV
As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam tress, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army. So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer’.
The moment David was anointed King over Israel he became a target for the enemies of Israel. In those days the Philistines were the chief enemies of God’s people, especially since the battle between Israel and the Philistines, in the days of King Saul, when David successfully killed Goliath with his sling and the first of his five smooth stones. There was no doubt that amongst the Philistines, David was probably the most hated of men. He had removed from them their champion, Goliath, and now he was King.
So the Philistines went up against King David ‘in full force to search for him’, (2 Samuel 5:17). But David was wise enough to ask the Lord what to do and as a result of hearing the Lord’s instruction, and then being obedient, the Philistines suffered a major defeat (2 Samuel 5:20-21). But before long the Philistines tried again. David might have thought ‘I’ll do just what the Lord told us to do last time’ – but if he had done that, he would have been defeated. David enquired of the Lord again what to do and God gave him a different strategy – to circle round the Philistine army and attack them from behind.
Then the Lord gave David the specific instruction which is our Scripture for today. Don’t move until you hear a rustling (the sound of marching) in the tops of the trees – and when you do, then move quickly. Once again David was obedient to the Lord and had another major victory.
There are four vital lessons out of this story. The first is this – whenever you face a difficulty, and don’t know what to do ‘Ask the Lord’. Secondly, when you know that God has spoken, obey. Thirdly, don’t presume that what happened last time will happen again – always go back to the Lord for his advice, even if circumstances look the same. Then fourthly, there will be times when you may need to wait for a sign from the Lord that now is the time to act.
If we carefully apply these vital lessons from the Word of God in our daily battling against our spiritual enemy, then we can be confident that He will go before us, as He did for David, and lead us into His victories.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are a God who answers the prayers of your children, when they look to you for guidance as David did. Help me, Lord, to be careful to listen to what You are saying to me, so that I will not fall into the traps of the enemy in the way I conduct my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.