1 Chronicles 14:8-17 NLT When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he and his men marched out to meet them. The Philistines had arrived in the valley of Rephaim and raided it. So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will You hand them over to me?” The LORD replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will give you the victory.” So David and his troops went to Baal-erazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God has done it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So that place was named Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who burst through”). The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David gave orders to burn them up. But after a while, the Philistines returned and raided the valley again. And once again David asked God what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees. When you hear a sound like marking feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the LORD caused all the nations to fear David.
This is one of my favorite Old Testament stories about the life of David and how God used him to destroy his enemies. Have you been struggling with an enemy in your life that you just can’t seem to overcome? There are several keys to victory in this story.
David shows us the importance of seeking God before attempting to fight any battle that comes at us. We must have a living and vital relationship with the Lord to defeat the enemy. God knows exactly what battleplan to use to bring the victory. The valley that David fought the Philistines in was the valley of Rephaim. Rephaim in the Hebrew means “giants”. Sometimes it seems like the giants in our lives are trying to destroy us and we are at a loss as to how to defeat them. David inquired of the Lord about whether or not he should go up against them. He sought God’s will for his life at that very time. Was this a good time to fight the giants? Should he go into battle against them? Would God give him the victory? And, yes, God gave him the strategy to use against the enemy and he was victorious. In fact, when he won they changed the name of the valley to Baal Perazim, which means Master of Breakthroughs. God gave him the breakthrough to his victory and the New Living Translation records David as saying “God has done it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So that place was named Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who burst through”). God will give us the victory over the enemy when we depend on Him. He wants to show us how to burst through our problems like a raging flood. This part of the story reminds me of the what Isaiah recorded in Isaiah 59:19 about the enemy coming at us like a flood and how God helps us.
Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
God cares about the problems that we experience. He wants to give us the victory, but we must seek Him for the battle-plan and then it is our responsibility to carry it out. We do have to fight the giants in our land.
The next thing we see in the story about David fighting the Philistines is that they come out against him again in the same place. Verse 13 starts another battle; same enemy; same place, but notice that he once again David goes to God for the battle-plan and this time he is given a different strategy. This time David asked God and the Lord said, “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees. When you hear a sound like marking feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.” God knew that the Philistines would be expecting David to come against them in the same way as he had done previously and they would be ready for him this time. They expected him to use the same battle-plan as he had before, but God knew David was being set up and would need a different plan of attack to win this battle.
Friends, if the enemy of your soul has set up a stronghold in your life that you don’t seem to be able to break through maybe you need to go to God for a different battle-plan. He is the Master of the Breakthrough! He has assured us of the victory, but we have to carry out the attack. We have to fight the giants in our lives through God’s strength within us and according to His plan.
Romans 8:31-37 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For You sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
There are all kind of giants that will try to invade our lives. But if God is for us, then what enemy do we have that could possibly stand against us and win? There is no giant that can ultimately win in our lives because God has made us more than conquerors through Him who loved us. The only way the enemy can win is if we stop fighting and give up.
If you are struggling with something that you can’t seem to get the victory over, go to God and ask Him for a different plan of attack. If something isn’t working, then change what you’re doing. God has a better plan for you to use that will bring the victory!
Father, I thank You for providing us with just the right plan to defeat the devil in our lives. Father, when the enemy comes at us seemingly like a flood You already have the answer for how to defeat him and if we will seek You for the battle-plan we can win. Father, I thank You for the victory over whatever it is that we are struggling with in our lives. I pray for my friends this morning that when they pray and ask You for the plan that You will clearly show them how to win in their battles. Please strengthen them by Your Spirit within them and give them the victory. I pray that they might not faint in well-doing but that in due season they will reap the harvest of victory. Father, thank You for making us more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. I thank You that the Greater One lives within us to give us the victory! I praise You for showing us how to fight and for giving us the strength to carry on when it seems that we are not winning. I know that it is the darkest just before the dawn and I ask You, Lord, to help us stand our course and fight when it seems to be the darkest hour. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer for I believe that I receive when I pray. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.