(Summary of the sermon: 17 Jan 2016)
Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”
And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.
Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lordwill go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.
2 Samuel 5:17-25
God blesses us abundantly when we live with each other in a covenanted Godly relationship. David experienced this in his life. The people of God made a Covenant with David and proclaimed their allegiance and unity with him. He was anointed a third time as king of Israel. The stage was set for David to be blessed abundantly by God.
But the Philistines heard about it and decided to attack him. Let me pause and remind us that when the enemy attacks us, it is a sign that he has recognized our Godly anointing to overpower him.
Now, let’s resume David’s story. With the Philistines in hot pursuit, David cleverly strategized. He went down into the stronghold and lured the Philistines to follow him there. Once they were trapped in the stronghold, David and his army circled around them, charged at them and defeated them. We can learn some important lessons from this story.
BEND LOW AND BE LIFTED UP
Do you remember the parable of the man who sowed good seeds? When the man wasn’t looking, his enemy planted some wild weeds in his field. As they started sprouting, the man’s servants pointed out the deadly weeds and rushed to uproot them. But the man asked them to wait and to let them grow fully. He said that once they were grown they could harvest the crop, separate the weeds and burn the weeds. A friend of mine once explained to me that the actual ripe wheat would be bent low while the weeds would stand straight. That’s the way a farmer can distinguish the weeds from his wheat crops.
Therefore, when the enemy attacks us, God wants us to humble ourselves before Him. Like David went down into the stronghold, let us bend low. God will then lift us up and give us victory over our enemies.
ENQUIRE OF THE LORD
David didn’t waste time. He asked the Lord if He would deliver the Philistines into his hands if he pursued them. Of course, David had won many battles by this time. He had fought the Philistines, thwarted Saul’s numerous attacks on his life, and had even defeated the giant Goliath. But he didn’t depend on his past victories for his present problem. He knew that his God would answer his current problem; therefore he enquired of Him. We know from the passage that the Philistines clearly depended on their seen idols! But David depended only on his unseen, living God!
What are the visible, idols that we depend on? Do we place our trust on our credentials, looks and suave skill-sets to face challenges? Also, do we even bother to enquire of God about our purposes and course of actions? Or do we just waltz through life depending on our own insight and wisdom? David knew that His God whom he depended on was perfect. He knew that He would answer and give him the victory in his hands.
In conclusion, let me tell you about a pastor that I met at a convention organized by a Bible college. As we were exchanging notes, I was surprised to see how God was using him. He said that when he came to know the Lord, he was just an average person with just a Class 4 education. But today, God is using him to translate Bibles in 16 languages in Mussoorie! When we humble ourselves and depend on God, He will lift us for His glory.
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