Sunday 31 March, 2013

2 Samuel 5:6-25

6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem. They went to attack the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, “You won’t get in here. Even blind people and those who are disabled can keep you from coming in.” They thought, “David can’t get in here.” 7 But David captured the fort of Zion. It became known as the City of David. 8 On that day David said, “Anyone who wins the battle over the Jebusites will have to crawl through the water tunnel to get into the city. That’s the only way he can reach those ‘disabled and blind’ enemies of mine.” That’s why people say, “Those who are ‘blind and disabled’ won’t enter David’s palace.” 9 David moved into the fort. He called it the City of David. He built up the area around the fort. He filled in the low places. He started at the bottom and worked his way up. 10 David became more and more powerful. That’s because the Lord God who rules over all was with him. 11 Hiram was king of Tyre. He sent messengers to David. He sent cedar logs along with them. He also sent skilled workers. They worked with wood and stone. They built a palace for David. 12 David knew that the Lord had made his position as king secure. He knew that he had made him king over the whole nation of Israel. He knew that the Lord had greatly honored his kingdom. The Lord had done it because the Israelites were his people. 13 After David left Hebron, he got more concubines and wives in Jerusalem. More sons and daughters were born to him there. 14 Here is a list of the children who were born to him in Jerusalem. Their names were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet. 17 The Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel. So their whole army went to look for him. But David heard about it. He went down to his usual place of safety. 18 The Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David asked the Lord for advice. He said, “Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord answered him, “Go. You can be sure that I will hand the Philistines over to you.” 20 So David went to Baal Perazim. There he won the battle over the Philistines. He said, “The Lord has broken through against my enemies when I’ve attacked them, just as water breaks through a dam.” That’s why the place was called Baal Perazim. 21 The Philistines left the statues of their gods there. So David and his men carried the statues off. 22 Once more the Philistines came up. They spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 So David asked the Lord for advice. The Lord answered, “Do not go straight up. Instead, circle around behind them. Attack them in front of the balsam trees. 24 Listen for the sound of marching in the tops of the trees. Then move quickly. The sound will mean that I have gone out in front of you. I will strike down the Philistine army.” 25 So David did just as the Lord had commanded him. He struck down the Philistines. He struck them down from Gibeon all the way to Gezer.

Here we have David continuing to rout the Philistines.  And we see David continuing to depend on God for the strategy to do that.  I love the fact that David does not assume that the strategy that worked once would work again, even though he was fighting the same people (the Philistines) in the same place (Baal Perazim).  Instead, he inquired of the Lord again – and God had a different strategy in mind!  This made me wonder how often I put God “in a box”, expecting Him to behave in a similar way or to do a similar thing to what He has already done.  Instead, I need to remember that whilst God’s character does not change, He is not subject to the same

human constraints as I am and so he can choose to act in whatever way He deems necessary!  He is God, after all!

Lord, help me to not put

constraints on you, of time, of method or of process but instead to remember and celebrate that you are God, Creator of the Universe and you can do whatever you want, whenever you want to and however you want to!

Written by Ps. Jen Irving

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