King David was up against a familiar foe. Years before as a young shepherd boy, he had faced down Goliath, the top Philistine warrior, by killing him with a well-placed stone (1 Sam. 17). Now David was king of Israel, and here come the Philistines again! They heard he was king, and they decided to attack (2 Sam. 5:17).
What do we do first when trouble is on the way? We could panic. We could plan. Or we could first do what David did—pray. “David inquired of the Lord” (v.19), and God guided the king.
David had to fight two battles with the Philistines—one at Baal Perazim and one at the Valley of Rephaim. It was a good thing he consulted God, because in these two battles there were two different strategies. In the first one, God won the battle with His power alone: “The Lord has broken through,” David recorded (v.20). For the next one, God gave David an action plan, and when he carried it out, the Israelites won (vv.23-25).
Each day we face many challenges. Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, our first action should always be to consult God. As He guides us, we can have confidence in Him. Then, whether the victory comes through His miraculous intervention or through His guidance, all the glory goes to God.
To stand up to any challenge, spend time on your knees. (RBC)