2 Samuel 5:1–6:23, 1 Peter 4:1–11, Psalm 136:1–26
Yesterday the Lord gave me words for a mission statement that will be presented to the leaders in my church. It outlines the purpose and plans for a ministry to our community. Even with my years of experience, I am shaking in my sandals.
I’m encouraged by David’s story. I’m reading when he has been anointed king. One of the duties of a king is to protect the people from their enemies. As I read it, I’m thinking David had a far greater challenge than mine. What did he do to ensure success? The answer is obvious . . .
Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. (2 Samuel 5:18–20)
David’s battle plan was simple: pray and obey. Fighting the Philistines was never easy, but when God ensures a win, then the battle can be fought with confidence.
And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 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. 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.” And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. (2 Samuel 5:22–25)
David’s third strategy was also simple: Do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way. I’ve noticed God’s methods are much different than ours. He seems to come up with fresh solutions for everything. What worked yesterday is not the answer for today. Each battle and each victory is unique. Again, pray and obey. Seek His face and follow His directions. As David did that, he “became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.” (2 Samuel 5:10)
Today’s NT reading is about spiritual gifts. David was a gifted leader. This is not my main gift. This new ministry may depend on it though. I must continually seek God’s will. Does He want me to lead in weakness, or will someone else to join the work and do it with their giftedness?
He says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” Amen. (1 Peter 4:10–11) I’m okay either way!
David’s story has reminded and encouraged me about God who cares for His people. “It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:23–24)