Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. (2 Samuel 5:22-25)
From the opening words of the passage above “Once more…” we realize that this was not the first time the Philistines had attempted to conquer King David and Israel. In fact, in the passage immediately prior to this one, David had successfully fought off a Philistine attack.
So when this second campaign began it must have looked and felt like a “rerun” to David. He’d literally just “been there, done that.” This was becoming somewhat routine for him, which makes verse 23 that much more significant. Despite having just faced a nearly identical situation, David again “inquired of the Lord” before taking any action.
Please don’t miss this – even though the enemy and the setting all looked the same, and even though David had already defeated them once, David still felt the need to inquire of God. That’s important because when we’re dealing with the familiar, our tendency is to think seeking God is less necessary. It’s simply “routine.”
But if we fall into that line of thinking, that means we will spend the least amount of time in prayer regarding the majority of our lives. For life is made up primarily of “routine stuff” – our work, our homes, our marriages, our families, etc. Because these routine things occupy most of our time, shouldn’t we frequently seek God regarding them?
By the way, notice that God’s answer to this routine situation was anything but routine. God’s answer and the action David was to take were new and unexpected. What a reminder that God cannot be placed into a box which we can predict or control. He will do as He sees fit – our job is to ask Him routinely and then obey His response!
(To receive these free daily devotions via email, sign up at: https://theteachableheart.com/classrooms-%26-devotions. For more information about the ministry, or to order the devotional books, visit: https://theteachableheart.com/books.)