Before looking further into the life of King David, we begin with a verse from the New Testament book of Romans:
5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 (NKJV)
With faithful King David now in place on the throne and reigning over a unified nation, God began to bring peace to Israel, both with Himself and with their neighbors.
The first thing David did upon being anointed king over all twelve tribes was to conquer the citadel city of Jerusalem. This well-defended city had been held by the Jebusites, and with God’s help, David and his army were able to take it. He made it the new capital city of the nation, calling it the City of David.
God confirmed David’s role in the new nation by granting him favor through Hiram, king of Tyre, a neighbor to the north. Hiram sent cedar from Lebanon along with craftsmen to build a house for David in Jerusalem.
12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 2 Samuel 5:12 (NKJV)
Now David believed it was time to do something about the enemies surrounding Israel who were raiding and invading it. His first order of business was to repel the Philistines, a longstanding enemy. If God was on his side, this should be no trouble at all. He had seen that firsthand years earlier with his triumph over the giant, Goliath.
The neighboring Philistines had been a thorn in the nation’ side ever since the time of the Judges, men and women who ruled over Israel prior to God’s installation of a king. There had been many battles between these two peoples, and only repeated miraculous interventions by God prevented a Philistine victory.
Here we learn another lesson from David. With all the favor being shown to him, it would be natural to assume that God would grant him victory over the Philistines any way he chose to pursue it.
Instead, David sought the Lord before he made such a decision. The first time David asked, the Lord told him to proceed, and God broke out against the Philistines, forcing them to retreat. When the Philistines regrouped, instead of assuming a repeat of this successful strategy, David sought the Lord again. This time, God gave David a different answer:
23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 2 Samuel 5:23-24 (NKJV)
David obeyed, and God brought peace to Israel through David’s faith. Rather than the head-on assault that worked so well the first time, David went around behind them and waited until he heard the “sound of marching” in the treetops, then he knew the Armies of the Lord were in the battle, and he could not lose.
Like David, we gain true peace and victory when we seek the Lord in faith for our struggles, rather than just assume He will bless the “battles” we fight our own way. When we invite God into the battle, He will lead the way for us. We may find that our plan has neither the timing nor the method He chooses for us to take into battle. It will be much more fruitful to wait and to follow His recommended plan and timing, and allow the “Armies of God” to get in place to help defend us against our enemies.
I once learned a valuable technique from a fellow believer. Whenever he was about to enter a business meeting where important decisions were about to be made, he always stopped at the door and silently prayed, “Jesus, You enter first”. He listened for the gentle guidance of God throughout the meeting, no matter what other agenda was unfolding in the room, including his own.
If we choose to align with the “Armies of God” and choose to follow Him whenever and wherever they are “marching in the treetops”, we cannot fail. In faith, we know that we will be led down the best path for our future, whether it appears to be that way at the time or not. And we will have peace as we place our will and life into the care of His hands, knowing that He loves us deeply and has our very best interests in mind.
Do we need peace with God or with others today?
Father God, we ask You in faith to take the reins in our difficult situations today. Lead us and guide us towards a greater blessing, one that will become more apparent to us in time. May the peace of Jesus Christ reign in our hearts today as we enjoy a rich banquet with the True King, the Bread of Life. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
As Jesus spoke in the book of Revelation:
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)