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1 Chronicles 14:10-17
The Bible highlights a history of conflict between the Philistines and Israelites, especially David. The Philistines are described as a large nation who served other gods. They taunted the Israelites and came against their borders on numerous occasions, this reading narrates one such occasion where the Philistines hear that their enemy David, has been anointed as King and they take up arms against him.
David had the loyalty and command of a mighty army and he had built up many alliances during his years of fleeing from Saul and living a nomadic life. In 1 Chronicles 12 there is a record of his alliance with 303 622 trained men and their commanders. I often flip through genealogies and numerical records, but this particular chapter (12) made me realise how YHWH provided and prepared David as a military man and leader of Israel. Although David is surrounded and supported by these trained men and commanders, he turns to YHWH for advice in facing the Philistine advance. In 1 Chron 14: 10 David directly inquires of YHWH. He askes two questions: Do I go against them? Will You give me victory over them?
These questions are contrary to the way I ask for help. When I am faced by difficulties or giants my go-to question is not a question but rather a panicked plea: Oh YHWH, help me please! There is a lesson to be learnt from the approach taken by David, a man after YHWH’s own heart. David admits dependency on YHWH, and his questions demonstrate a relationship of trust and fear for the Father. Remember this fear is not a knee knocking fear, but a respect for the greatness of YHWH. David acknowledges that YHWH is a living Elohim (1 Chron 13:12). He has an undivided heart and faith that YHWH will show him what to do. David does not panic and plead, he seeks guidance out of relationship and trust. It is important that we recognise David’s dependence and humility in seeking the will of YHWH. He is cognisant of the power and sovereignty of YHWH in all matters.
David not only seeks the will of the Father, but he enquires as to what the outcome will be. He asks, “Will You give me victory over them?” This question stopped me in my tracks and made me reflect on how often I expect a good outcome, how often I must act like a toddler who wants everything to go their way. David exposes that he will accept the will of the Father, victory or not. All too often I ask “what is Your will?” but neglect to seek the outcome – good or bad (as in not what I want). YHWH’s answer is immediate and concise, to the first question He answers – Go. The second, “I will give them into your hand.” There is no second guessing here. David actions the army and YHWH’s word is fulfilled.
BUT – these Philistines are not done yet. In verse 14 we read how David approaches YHWH again. He does not rely on his passed victory, he does not take it for granted that the outcome will be the same. This is a big lesson for me in seeking the will of the Father consistently to make sure that I stay in His will. This time the instructions vary. First of all David is told NOT to go AFTER the Philistines, but to go around and FACE them. Not to chase them but to confront them face on. I love the fact that YHWH tells David that the army must not attack until they hear the wind rustling in the Mulberry trees. No dramatic charging, just the wind rustling. YHWH tells David, “For YHWH shall GO BEFORE you.” David is obedient, this mighty leader and king does exactly what he is instructed. He does not consult with his commanders, make an auxiliary plan or add extra precautions. He does EXACTLY as he is told.
So, how do you fight battles in your life? How do you approach the enemy who is warring against you? How do we are the bride of Yeshua battle against the attacks on the Church? Are we offering panicked pleas without seeking explicit answers, do we make our own plans or even “reinforce” instructions from YHWH because in our minds these are too simple or scary? Do we ask for help but not seek His way, or listen to His instruction and end up disheartened and hopeless? In 1Chron 14 there were two attacks from the same enemy. Both times David trusted and was dependent on YHWH – regardless of the outcome. YHWH said that David was a man after His own heart, and when Samuel anointed David as a boy YHWH told the prophet that He looked upon the heart of man. This would signal that when we approach YHWH in time of battle we need to check our heart/motives and make sure that we seek the will of the Father, no matter what the outcome is.
David showed humility, he had a relationship with YHWH and loved Him with an undivided heart. Although David had great position in life, he recognised that he was a vessel in the hands of the Father. He was also very aware of his responsibility and the lives of his followers, his motives and heart were in line with the will of the Father. Perhaps the lesson here is that we should not chase our enemies, but rather face them in the knowledge that Yeshua Messiah has already overcome battles, He has already won the victory. YHWH has a plan for our lives, it is HIS plan – not ours – and to stay in that plan we need to enquire of Him. What and how? Then we need to listen and obey without amending the plan. Jeremiah 29: 14 -15 follows the famous verse about YHWH having a plan of good and not for evil. These verses are key to unlocking these good plans, and tell us to seek Him, and He shall be found. That we are to ask and we shall be heard.