2 Samuel 5:17-25

War with the Philistines

17 Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard about it, he went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines came and overran the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You hand them over to me?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly hand the Philistines over to you.” 20 Then David came to Baal-perazim and [g]defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore he named that place [h]Baal-perazim. 21 And the Philistines abandoned their idols there, so David and his men carried them away.

22 Now the Philistines came up once again and overran the Valley of Rephaim. 23 So David inquired of the Lord, but He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the baka-shrubs. 24 And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baka-shrubs, then you shall [i]act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” 25 Then David did so, just as the Lord had commanded him; he struck and killed the Philistines from [j]Geba [k]as far as Gezer.

It’s interesting that we hear nothing of the Philistines until David is made king of all Israel. Whatever reason, they’re back, and they want to show their dominance once more.

David, undaunted, goes to the Lord again for guidance. The second time is even better. God tells David to wait until he hears the sound of marching in the tops of the shrubs. Whether the army of heaven literally marched through the tree-tops or not, the result was the same.

God gave David victory over his enemies, not because David asked for it, but because David wanted to follow God’s plan, and that plan involved David defeating those who sought to oppress Israel.

In big things and in small, look for God’s guidance. Sometimes, He might leave the ball in your court, other times He’ll give you clear signs. But whatever the answer, follow God’s plan if you want what is best for you–though it might not be the easiest plan.

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