I Chronicles 14



The contents of this chapter belong to a period of time subsequent to the

taking of the fort of Zion, and find their parallel in II Samuel 5:11-25.

But if found here in the same order of place as there, they would have

followed upon ch.9:9; Keil attributes this difference to the desire of our

compiler to represent the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem as David’s first

undertaking on becoming king of the united people.  Considering the contents

of this chapter, and remembering that it stands between the unsuccessful attempt

to bring home the ark and the final successful bringing of it, it would seem a far more

natural thing to suppose that this suggested its present order; for compare ch.15:1-2.

The parallel is very close. As far as to the word Elishua (v. 5), there is no

difference in the least degree material, except that the word “concubines” is

found in Samuel, and preceding the word “wives” of our v. 3 (yet see ch.3:9).

The two names Elpalet and Nogah are also not found in the parallel, but our

compiler is consistent with himself; for see ch.3:6-7. Further, our v.12 states that

the idols of the Philistines were by David’s command “burned with fire,” while

the Hebrew text of Samuel only states that “David and his men removed them”

 (μaeC;Yiw"), where the Authorized Version incorrectly translates “burned them.”


1 “Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of

cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.”

The Kethiv abandons here the invariable analogy of Chronicles,

and reads Hiram for Huram,” which latter form, however, is replaced in

the Keri. Beside this Hiram or Huram, the king, there was another Hiram

or Huram, the same king’s chief artificer, and whom he sent to the help of

Solomon (I Kings 7:13, 40; II Chronicles 2:13; 4:11, 16). The

willing aid which this king lent to David on this occasion, in supplying

cedar timber and workmen, was “the commencement of that amity between

the Tyriaus and the Hebrews, so mutually advantageous to the two nations,

the one agricultural and the other commercial” (Milman’s ‘History of the

Jews,’ 1:239). The meaning of the name Hiram is probably “noble,” or

high.born.” This disposition, at all events, he seems to have illustrated in

his generous friendship to David, Solomon, and their people. Very little to

be relied upon is known of him outside Scripture, but his reign is said to

have extended from B.C. 1023-990.


The act of Hiram here in sending messengers to David with timber and

masons and carpenters to build a house for himself, shows how David’s

influence had made itself felt far and near. We are furnished with the reason

of this influence (see ch.11:9). It was because “the Lord was with him.”

Thus it ever is with the Christian: “The Lord is with him.” Hence his influence.

CHRIST IN US  is the mighty power for a holy life and for

producing a permanent impression. Men like Hiram will pay homage to

this, however morally distant they may be from conversion to God. And

this is the power the true Christian should seek to possess, and the

influence he should wield. “And David perceived that the Lord had

confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high,

because of his people Israel. Observe the latter part of this passage.

Kings are to remember why they are kings. It is on account of God’s

kingdom and God’s people. When they forget their relation to God, God’s

people, and God’s work, they forget their true mission in God’s world.

“By me kings reign” (Proverbs 8:15).  The subject should never forget the

relation in which he stands to God; how much less should the king forget it!


2 “And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over

Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high,” -  The passage in II Samuel

5:12 reads aCeni, the Piel conjugation. The present form is obscure, taceni. It may

be considered either an irregular Niphal third person feminine; or Niphal infinitive

absolute (II Samuel 19:43); or possibly even an irregular Piel form, in which case

the pronoun “he” will need to be supplied as the subject. Supposing that any

special connection subsists between this and the previous verse, it is not

necessary to consider it remote. Then, as now, the building of a house for

one’s self, much more the building of a noble palace on the part of a king,

is an indication of feeling settled and “confirmed.” It was a partial

indication of the “lifted-up kingdom” that the king should have a palace of

magnificence. This must have weighed all the more in the case of a nation which,

not for its sacred things, nor for its king, nor for its people, had ever had as yet

any adequate and worthy housing - “because of his people Israel.”



The Lord Confirmed David King (v.2)


To many readers this phraseology seems simply the language of superstition,

to be classed with similar language in which primitive and heathen nations are

wont to attribute the triumphs of their warriors and the greatness of their kings

to their tutelar (guardian) and national deities. But believers in the inspiration

and authority of Holy Scripture will see in this declaration an assurance of

that wise and watchful care which God exercises over all men and all

communities, and which is, for wise purposes, so clearly and devoutly

related and recorded in the documents of Hebrew history.



ARE FROM GOD. The strength of character, wisdom and sagacity,

firmess, justice, clemency, affability, — all qualities that make an able ruler

of men, are the endowment of the supreme Lord. In the case of David we

observe peculiar gifts lavishly bestowed. The same providential care is to

be recognized in the long and severe discipline by which the son of Jesse

was fitted for a throne. It was doubtless this preparatory training,

combined with the sore experience through which the nation had passed,

which rendered David’s accession so popular.



AUTHORIZED. The Lord having prepared David for the throne and the

throne for him, the monarch proceeded to fulfill his royal duties with the

happy assurance that the hearts of his people were subject to him, and with

the knowledge that he was supported by faithful and powerful allies. It

cannot, indeed, be said that monarchy is the favorite form of government

with the Lord of all; for when He gave Israel a king it was in condescension

to their infirmities. The form of government is of secondary importance,

but the necessity of civil rule is written upon the constitution of man

and of society. Equity, impartiality, righteousness, — these are the principles

of all true moral rule, human and Divine. The governor who is guided by

personal ambition, who is the prey of petty prejudices, who is given to

intrigues, who rules by oppression, IS NO TRUE KING OF MEN!




“David perceived that the Lord had confirmed him king.” Thus his

faith was strengthened and his courage was sustained. The man who, in the

fulfillment of life’s duties, cannot see beyond his own purposes and

plans, is for all high intents enfeebled by this unworthy view of his life;

whilst he who recognizes that he is the “minister of God,” is supported

by this conviction, his aims are ennobled and his influence is hallowed

by it.  Especially must this be the case with those whose influence and

responsibility are unusually great.



GOD. Some rulers have been called to account by their fellow-potentates

and some by their subjects. There is, however, danger lest the powerful

should forget their inevitable responsibility. At the bar of God all kings

must stand; at His throne they too must sue for mercy, WHEN THERE



“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the

 earth.  (Psalm 2:10)


3 “And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more

sons and daughters.”  As matter of course, we do not look in this connection for

any remarks to be made by the writer condemnatory of David’s enlargement of the

harem, or of his having an harem at all. Yet it is open to us to note how, at a time

when polygamy was “winked at,” and no sin was necessarily to lie on this account

at the door of David, yet by this very thing he was undermining the peace

and unity of his own family, the comfort of his declining years once and again,

and the very stability of his house in the days of Solomon his son. The less

necessitated we are to regard David’s polygamy in the light of individual sin, the

more emphatic in the light of history does the tendency of the practice proclaim



4 “Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem;” -

The names of the children born to David in Hebron are given in ch.3:1-4. For a

comparison of this list with that of Ibid. vs. 5-9, see that place. It will be observed

that the present list agrees with that of II Samuel 5 in respect of eleven names, and

with ch.3:5-8, so far as number goes, with all thirteen -Shammua, and Shobab,

Nathan, and Solomon,  5 And Ibhar, and Elishua,  and Elpalet, 6 And Nogah,

and Nepheg, and Japhia, 7 And Elishama, and  Beeliada, and Eliphalet.”


8 “And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over

all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard

of it, and went out against them.”  In this and the next eight verses David

achieves two important victories over the Philistines. From a careful comparison of

this passage with the parallel and with II Samuel 23:12-14, it appears likely that

the meaning is that “David went out against them” after having “gone down”

first to the “hold,” probably at the “cave of Adullam” (ch. 11:15-17).  When it is

said that the Philistines went up to seek David, the sequel makes it evident that they

did not seek him as friends.  And it is to be remembered that the Philistines held

territory near Jerusalem at this time, and to the north of it (I Samuel 31:7-9).


9 “And the Philistines came and spread themselves” – The root, fv"p;

appears here for the çf"n; I – in v. 18 of the parallel place. So also again in v.13

of this chapter - “in the valley of Rephaim.” -  i.e. of giants, though some

translate “healers,” and yet others “chiefs.” Though not Canaanites, they once held

portions of Canaan. Their origin is very uncertain. Kalisch (‘Commentary on

Old Testament,’ p. 351) thinks they were descendants of Japheth (Genesis 14:5;

15:20; Deuteronomy 2:9-11; 3:11). The “valley” was south of Jerusalem, but

whether more southeast or southwest is not certain; probably the former

(Joshua 15:8; 18:16; Isaiah 17:5).


10 “And David inquired of God,” -  The “inquiring” was made, as matter

of course, through the high priest, and not merely, as we should say, in

private prayer (Judges 1:1,3; 20:23, 27; I Samuel 23:2, 4; 30:8; II Samuel 2:1).

The directness of the Divine answer was some echo of the old reply when Judah

was authorized to go up against the Canaanites (Judges 1:2) - “saying, Shall I

go up against the Philistines? And wilt thou deliver them into mine hand?

And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine




Inquiring of God Concerning Common Things (v. 10)


If David, as a skilful general, counted his forces, estimated their strength, set them on

vantage-ground, drawn out a plan of battle, and, swayed by his own energy, led them

on to victory,  he would only have acted as Saul had acted. He would have taken

up the position of the independent sovereign, rather than that of the prince and

vicegerent of Jehovah. It was important that, at the very outset of his kingly career,

he should make it publicly and distinctly known that he was king only as

Jehovah’s servant. He could not make this known better than by “inquiring

of the Lord” on the first occasion of national anxiety. It is always of great

importance that we start right. But it might be said that this was only a

business matter, and so quite within the power of David to arrange, and he

need not “inquire of God” at all about it. That sentiment is a common, but

a sadly mistaken one. It divides our life into two parts, the one of which we

can manage ourselves, but for the other we need the help of God. There

can really be no distinction of the “sacred” and the “secular.” There can

properly be no circle drawn round within which alone prayer can be

acceptable. Nothing interests us that does not interest our God. “In

everything, by prayer and supplication,… we may make known our

requests unto him.” (Philippians 4:6)


  • WHAT IS THE GOD-SPHERE? The difficulties into which men get,

and the subtle self-seeking they manifest, when they try to make the

GOD-SPHERE limited and narrow. The awakened and sincere heart

 is prepared to say before God:


“Take my body, spirit, soul;

Only thou possess the whole?



THOUGHT, HIS EVERY INTEREST.  Nothing is too great for

God to compass; nothing too small for him to use and glorify.

The things we count most common — air and sunshine and

rain — are His. And the things in our lives that seem most trivial fit into

His great plan and should be referred to Him.  The Apostle James,

says that our very journeyings,” our very buyings and sellings,”

must be made dependent on the Lord’s will (James 4:13-15).

(“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:

it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” – Jeremiah

10:23).  Modern sentiment tends to limit the sphere within which prayer is

appropriate; it is assumed that it should not deal with the material world,

which is under fixed law. But law is not something out beyond the control

of God.  (I highly recommend Genesis 17 – The Names of God –

El Shaddai by Nathan Stone this web site – CY – 20121) All

laws are within the God-sphere, so we may “inquire of God”

about them.



shall be referred to Him, and in everything His counsel and direction

shall be taken. “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel,

to do it for them” (Ezekiel 36:37).  This claim may be shown in detailed

application to the circumstances of our lives. The kind of reference to God

takes different forms for different kinds of things.



LITTLE THAN BY THE GREAT. Practical observation of life proves

that it is harder to do little things in a right spirit than to do great ones.

(Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful

also in much:  and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in

much.  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous


RICHES?”  (Luke 16:10-11  - Many a man stands well before mighty

swords and spears, and falls before a pebble slung by a youth. Few of us

can stand the serious testing of the commoner scenes and relations of our lives.

Yet the Divine testings come most frequently in connection with them; and

sometimes God even makes us do nothing — wait; and He watches to see

whether, even concerning this, we will “inquire of Him.”


11 “So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there.

Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine

hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the

name of that place Baal-perazim.”  Baal-perazim; literally, master of

breaches. Gesenius traces this meaning, through the intermediate idea of

possessor,” to that (in this case, that place), which “possesses,” i.e. is the

subject of such a signal overwhelming as is here described, the scene of

overwhelming defeats, like the irresistible rush of waters (Isaiah 28:21).



The God of Battles (vs. 9-11)


This is one of the many passages in the Old Testament where God is

represented as presiding over and prospering the military expeditions of the

Israelites. Rationalists see in such passages nothing more than evidence

that the Hebrews were a warlike people, and that they, like other nations,

attributed their successes in war to the intervention and favor of their

Deity. But those who believe in the inspiration and authority of Scripture

cannot be satisfied with such an explanation. The text casts  light upon this.




barbarous and absurd to suppose that the benevolent Ruler of all prefers

war in itself to peace, that He takes pleasure in the carnage and agony, the

bereavement and desolation, which are distinctive of war. But as all

strength and valor, all foresight, skill, and patience are His gifts, to Him

must ultimately be traced the force, the generalship, by which victories are





CONFLICTS OF THE NATIONS. There can be no question that the

course of human history has been, to a large extent, governed by the wars

which have occupied so much of the energy and have consumed so much

of the blood and the treasure of mankind. We have read of “the fifteen

decisive battles of the world.” They who believe in the providential

government of the world at all can scarcely refuse to believe that the

warfares of the nations have been permitted and overruled for good by

God. Great principles, even principles of a moral kind, have sometimes

been fought upon the field of battle. Civilization and barbarism, slavery and

freedom, brute force and enlightenment, have thus contended together for

the mastery and the victory.





Ø      The contests between Israel and Israel’s enemies were contests

Between a morally superior and certain morally inferior races. When

wars took place between the Israelites and the Canaanites or

Philistines, it is plain to every student of history that the victory of

Israel was the victory of monotheism and morality over idolatry and

the most flagrant and disgusting vice. (Since America is becoming

more like Canaanites and Phoenicians, I wonder who will be the

superior moral force that brings us down to our knees?  - CY – 2012)

The cause of Philistia was the cause of heathenism, cruelty, and

pollution; the cause of David was that of comparative justice, purity,

and spirituality.


Ø      The victories of Israel furthered the best interests of mankind. (Up

to the Vietnam War, when the NOW generation espoused the

slogan - “MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR” America’s involvement

in war, furthered the interests of mankind – CY – 2012)  Had

Israel been subjugated or annihilated, the best prospects of the

human race would have been clouded with awful darkness.

(The same could be said of the United States – CY – 2012)

The independence and nationality of the Hebrews formed a distinct

step forward in the march of humanity.  (So has democracy in

America! – CY – 2012)


Ø      The triumphs of David were a link in that chain which led to the

redemption of mankind. We cannot separate the Old Testament,

historically or religiously, from the New Testament. The kingdom

and the conquests of David have relation to the kingdom and the

conquests of Him who was Son of David and Son of God



12 “And when they had left their gods there,” - The parallel translates more

literally, “And there they left,” as we might also do here; and goes on to read

their images,” in place of “their gods” (II Samuel 5:21). “David gave a

commandment, and they were burned with fire.”These they burned

with fire, according to the command of Deuteronomy 7:5, 25.



Hatred of Idolatry (v, 12)


The conduct of David, in directing that the idols of the Philistines should be

burned with fire,” arose from the fervor of his religious feelings and his

contempt for idolatrous usages. It must always be borne in mind, in reading

of the wars between Israel and Philistia, that these, like other wars recorded in

Old Testament history, were more social and religious than political. Isolated

from surrounding nations, the people of Israel were providentially appointed

to be witnesses to the one true God. Hence their repugnance to and hatred

of polytheism in all its offensive and degrading manifestations.


  • IDOLATRY IS DISHONOURING TO GOD. It is the substitution

Of God’s work for Himself. Idolaters “worship and serve the creature

more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25). 

Whether adoration be paid to the handiwork of the great Maker of all or to

the workmanship of men’s own hands, God is robbed of the reverence



  • IDOLATRY IS UNREASONABLE AND VAIN. How strikingly is this

portrayed in Psalm 115! They have mouths, but they speak not,

eyes have they, but they see not:  They have ears, but they hear

not:  noses have they, but they smell not:  They have hands, but

they handle not:  feet have they, but they walk not:  neither

speak they through their throat. They that make them are like

unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Psalm 115:5-8).

It is the absurd and superstitious confidence that men have placed in idols

which has rendered religion the laughing-stock of the thoughtless and

superficial.  (I recommend  Spurgeon Sermon – To the Thoughtless

this web site - CY – 2012)



PRACTICE IT. History abounds with proofs of this. The greater the hold

which idolatry has over a nation, and the more cruel, sensuous, and

capricious are the deities worshipped, the more degraded is the moral

condition of the community. We know well how sunk were the Philistines

and their neighbors, by reason of their religion, in the depths of vice and sin.



A PURER AND NOBLER FAITH. David’s “rough and ready” method of

dealing with the Philistine “gods” was natural to his impulsive disposition.

(That because he was “a man after God’s own heart” - Acts 13:22 –

God had commanded it to be done – Deuteronomy 7:5,25 – CY –

2012).   We are assured by inspired predictions that the time shall come

when the idolatrous peoples, illumined by the rays of the gospel, shall of

their own accord “cast their idols to the moles and to the bats”

(Isaiah 2:20).  So far from the abolition of idolatry being the precursor to

universal irreligion, we have every reason to believe that upon the ruins of

heathenism shall be reared the stately and holy temple of Christianity, in

which an enlightened and regenerated race shall offer unceasing adorations





First Battle in the Valley of Rephaim (vs. 8-12)


No sooner was David anointed than the Philistines were stirred up in

opposition. This opposition arose, doubtless, from the conviction that, if he

were established on the throne, he would take revenge on them for the

national dishonor at the battle of Gilboa, in which Saul was slain. They

therefore resolved, before his throne was consolidated, to accomplish his

destruction. David’s characteristic feature was, in every emergency of this

kind, to cast himself upon God and seek His guidance. The assurance of

victory was clear and unqualified: “And the Lord said,… Go up, for I will

deliver them into thine hand.” The result of the battle was a great victory

for Israel. Another feature in David’s character was to ascribe all victory to

God. “Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine

hand like the breaking forth of waters.” Observe, he calls himself the

Lord’s “hand.” This is our true relation to God at all times. Ourselves and

all we have are but the “hand” to be put into God’s hand to use. Observe,

too, that David burns the “gods” which the Philistines, in the hurry and

confusion of flight, had left behind. They were no temptation to him to

idolatry, but they might have been to some among his ranks; therefore

every vestige of idolatry shall be stamped out and every temptation

removed. In all our battles for the Lord, if we would have Him with us

and ensure success, every idol must be stamped out and GOD ALONE

EXALTED!   It must be Christ and CHRIST ALONE  in every heart

and before every eye.


13 “And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the

valley.”  In this and the next three verses David defeats the Philistines

again.   In the valley; i.e. the valley of Rephaim, as is expressly stated

in the parallel place, though left in no obscurity here.


14 “Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him,

Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them

over against the mulberry trees.” The meaning of the directions as here

given is sufficiently evident, yet it is somewhat more forcibly expressed in

II Samuel 5:23, “Thou shalt not go up,” i.e. “against the Philistines” (see

v. 10, here, and note the form of David’s inquiry); but fetch a compass

behind them. The mulberry trees were evidently behind the Philistines. The

Hebrew word for the trees here spoken of is μyaik;B]h", and the correct

rendering of it is probably neither “mulberry” nor, as the Septuagint and

Vulgate translate, “pear” trees. But judging from the probable derivation

(hk;B;, to weep), they were trees of the balsam species, and it seems that

this is as far as we can safely conjecture. One of the latest authorities

(see Condor’s ‘Handbook to the Bible,’ p. 398, 2nd edit.) pronounces it

an “unknown species.” The tree, strange to say, is only mentioned here and

in the parallel place. A summary of opinions as to the tree intended may be

found in Smith’s ‘Bible Dictionary,’ which states “some believe pear

trees are meant; others the aspen or poplar, whose leaves tremble

and rustle with the slightest breeze, even when the breeze is not

perceptible.  It may have been to the rustling of these leaves that

the ‘going in the tree tops’ refers – II Samuel 5:24”and this is just

sufficient to show that it is not as yet identified with any semblance of

certainty. However, it is easy to understand how the balsam species, from

which the exuding gum resembles “tears,” might come by the name set

forth in the present Hebrew root.


15 “And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going” - This is not a

mere generic or longer form of expression to signify a sound itself. There is

significance in the word“going.” The sense of the Hebrew word would be

thrown out more emphatically by such a rendering as, the sound of steps

(literally, stepping). When the motion of the agitated leaves simulated the

sound of steps, the stepping of men, then David and his army were to step

forth to battle. Though the root of the “stepping” spoken of as heard in the

trees is not identical with that of the “going” repeated twice in the remainder

of the verse —  “in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt

go out to battle: for God is gone forth” -  yet it does alliterate to some extent

with it, and rather creates the impression that it was intended to do so. However,

II Samuel 5:24 does not sustain this impression, inasmuch as a different word,

“Thou shalt bestir thyself,” is there employed, in place of the first occurrence

of our supposed alliteration, in the clause, “Thou shalt go out.” There is something

stirring to the imagination, and probably it was felt so by David and his men, in the

signal unseen yet not unheard, and in a sense not of earth, but midway

between earth and heaven. The very various voices of the various trees,

according to the character of their foliage, may well set poetry going, and

startle or fascinate imagination, as the case may be. The music of one tree

or grove is as different from that of another as can be — listen to the

difference between the melancholy plaint so unceasing of some plantation

of firs, and the multitudinous, silvery, rippling of but one white poplar of

good size. Presumably the sound in the present case more resembled that

of the steady tramp of them that march - “before thee to smite the host

of the Philistines.”


16 “David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the

host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.” Gibeon. The parallel

reads Geba. As Geba and Gibeon were both situate very near to Jerusalem

(on the north), as well as near to one another, both texts may be correct, and

each mean what it says. But Isaiah 28:21 confirms the reading Gibeon. It is evident

that Gibeon was no appropriate resting-place for the ark (ch.13:3-4; II Chronicles

1:3). The nearness of the Philistines’ approach to the city of Jerusalem marks their

daring on the one hand, and the loud call now for the merciful interposition

of Jehovah on behalf of his people. Gazer. Hebrew hr;z]G;, both here and in

the parallel because of the accent. Else the name is Gezer (rzG,). It was about two

hours distant from Gibeon, and to the north of it (Joshua 10:33; 12:12; 21:21;

Judges 1:29; here, ch.20:4), or “four Roman miles northward from Nicopolis,

now the large ruin of Tell Jezar.


17 “And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD

brought the fear of him upon all nations.”  This was the direct consequence

of David having surrendered himself entirely into the hands of the great

Commander Himself, the Lord of all hosts. How often had Saul used all

earthly power and been impatient to do so, so that he could not wait even

for the right human agency! But he failed, and for every failure lessened his

influence among those round him far and wide. God made the victories of

David marvelous, and therein made him marvelous, from the time of

Goliath up to the present moment. To trust self and self’s well-nigh

superhuman exertions shall still leave a man an utter failure. To trust God

and rigidly follow His bidding will exalt a man, and will save him from his

own liability to error and inevitable loss of reputation thereby. From all this

narrative we may be very forcibly reminded of two things.


  • How God would teach us that it may be often dangerous to go up direct

against even the very worst of foes — our spiritual foes.


  • That with these foes it is above all necessary to have God Himself to

fight before us, for us, and with us!



Second Battle in the Valley of Rephaim (vs. 13-17)


The utter discomfiture of the Philistines and the victory of Israel had filled

the former with alarm, and a second attempt was made against Israel.

David again cast himself upon the Lord. This time the mode of attack by

David was, at the command of God, to be varied. The attack was not

forbidden, but, instead of advancing against the Philistines openly. David

was to strike off in such a direction as to turn their flank and to come upon

them from the front of the mulberry trees or baca bushes. An important

spiritual truth underlies this part of the narrative. In this second attack it

would only have been natural that David should have adopted the same

mode as before, especially when his plans had met with such success. But,

however right and in every respect preferable that course might have

appeared, it was not God’s way. God will have His people ENTIRELY

DEPENDENT UPON HIMSELF  and not upon past experiences!

The manna gathered today will not do for tomorrow. It must be gathered each

day afresh. The successful way in the past may not be His way in the future, and

must never be relied on. It is not past dealings or ways with us; IT IS

HIMSELF!   The look of the soul in every step must be upward. I must put

nothingnot even God’s past ways with me in life — between my soul


And “the sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees,” as the sign of

God’s leading, is not without meaning. It indicates still the upward look.

The sign was to come from above. There the eye and the ear too were to

be directed. It was nothing in itself, any more than any ordinance or means

of grace. It was an “outward sign” of an “inward” and deeper reality —

GOD;   God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.”

The breeze of wind moving the tops of the mulberry trees was the vehicle of the

Holy Spirit GOD’S PRESENCE GOING BEFOE,  which is at all times

the Christian’s safety, strength, and victory.



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