In the early chapters of 2 Samuel, David has been consolidating his reign over Israel following the death of Saul. The Philistines hear of his anointing and march against him. David asks God whether he should engage them. God assures him he will be victorious and that is exactly what happens. But the Philistines aren’t so easily dissuaded. They return and David again approaches God for guidance. This time, the Lord advises a less direct battle plan:
“Now the Philistines came up once again and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of the LORD, He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees. It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the LORD will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines”” (2 Samuel 5:22-24).
Perhaps this is a timely reminder to the new king to never forget who is really winning the battles. The “sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees” was a visible sign of an invisible reality. The Lord of hosts was leading His heavenly army into battle first! This reminds me of another Old Testament story (2 Kings 8:6-23). This time, the Arameans were seeking to capture Elisha, the prophet of God. Finally, the king of Aram and his army have Elisha and his attendant surrounded. Things looked hopeless and the servant cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Notice Elisha’s response:
“So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17).
The child of God is never truly alone in the battles of life. Remember that!
God loves you!