It was one of the first battles David faced after he became king over all Israel. The Philistines, the fierce neighbors to their west, had heard David was now king and had sent their army to destroy him.
David had a sizeable army at his command and could have advanced into war on his own. However, I was impressed to read that before he made a single military move, or convened an advisory committee, “David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’” (2 Sam 5:19). What a reminder that if the king of the mightiest nation on earth needed to inquire of God before acting, so do I.
God told David to go, and the Israelites defeated their enemies that day. Following the battle, David renamed the place “Baal-Perazim,” which means “the Lord has broken out.” It sounds like just a little historical detail, but there’s a great deal of significance if we’ll look. David could have renamed the place, “Davetown,” or “Kingville,” or any number of designations that focused the attention on him. But, David was quick to give all the glory, thanks, and praise to God.
As I contemplated these few verses, I wondered if there might be a connection between David’s first action (seeking God’s direction and inviting Him to make the plans) and his last (giving the praise to God). I wonder if I’d be more prone to thank God for His work in my life if I was also in the habit of seeking His direction first.
Seeking His face before taking action, and thanking Him afterwards – what beautiful bookends that express our faith. Willing to give it a try with me? –Dave
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