Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Commanded by God
And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.
1 Chronicles 14:16-17
God brought deliverance to Israel under the leadership of King David because David was submissive to God's control over the nation. Twice in this chapter the Philistines attack Israel. And twice David does nothing until he first inquires of the LORD. That was the secret of his success in defending Israel.
The first episode is one of Philistine aggression. David hears that the Philistines are against him. David decides to take a "strike first" position and inquires of the LORD. God confirms David's decision, and under God's blessing Israel routes back the Philistine advances with overwhelming success. David gives all the credit to God who delivered the nation. On the battlefield the Philistines abandon their Baal figurines. David has them all collected and burned. The king will not let even a hint of foreign idolatry taint his heart or tempt the nation.
The second engagement finds a Philistine counter attack coming against David's army. Again David seeks the LORD, and this time God asks David to strategically retreat, then outflank the Philistines, waiting for a miraculous sign from God to then bring on the attack. Again, the king obeys God as commander and the Philistines are overwhelmingly defeated. The result was that the reputation of the military might of Israel under David spread to neighboring nations. A peace came to Israel through the strength that God gave to David.
David was a military man. He was a shrewd fighter and a magnetic commanding general. But he did not rely only on these personal gifts. Instead, he entrusted himself to the power and person of God. He was under God's command. And God was glorified as He blessed David and made his name to be feared not only throughout Israel but also to the gentile world. David's trust in God shows how much such real faith can give the faithful heart. It challenges such faith to guide decisions even today.