02Jun20 - Preacher Diary
5. When David was Told…
David was “told” of the plot of the Philistines, and he acted. The same David to whom God had often spoken, did not wait to hear the present caution for himself ‘from the Lord,’ before he should take precaution. In my days, David might have said, “I do not work on rumours. God speaks to personally to me. Where was I when God bypassed me your ‘Papa’ and General Overseer, to talk to you, a mere soldier, about matters of my own personal destiny? Well, when I have heard from God on this matter, I shall know what to do.”
If David had been as proud as that, like some ‘highly anointed’ folk in my generation, he might have been wasted before day break. Sometimes, God might speak in our ears; some other times, however, He might choose to speak through the lips of those who have our ears, as when He chose to call the young Samuel in the respected and familiar ‘voice of Eli’ his boss (1 Samuel 3:3-10).
What did David do when he was told? He took the case to God. He didn’t wait to die. He was not too sentimental to believe ‘such nonsense’ about the ‘good people’ with whom he had spent the good part of his last ten years. According to Jesus, “Wisdom is justified of all her children” (Luke 7:35).
6. Never the Winning Goal
The anointing of which 2 Samuel 5:17 speaks was the third and final in the series that David received (1 Samuel 16:12-13; 2 Samuel 2:4). While the Philistines housed David, did they never know that oil had been poured on his heard? They knew, but that ‘level’ of oil was not what they were concerned about. The ‘big one’ was what they were out to never see. They seemed not to have bothered about the preliminary anointings, so far as those were not The Anointing to put David on the throne; they seemed not to have bothered so long as it was not The Anointing to place him where Destiny had marked for his life. In other words, the fact that somebody supported you yesterday does not mean that they will support you the day after; that they helped you to the first floor does not necessarily mean their readiness to see you up to the last floor; that they smiled at your first degree might not suggest that they are prepared to see you get a second degree. So long as David had a title without a throne, the Philistines were content to keep him; so long as he had been ‘anointed’ but with no territory to show for all the oil on his wet head, there was no war. They were not against his title, but his mantle; they were not against the man, but his mandate. If he put a thousand balls into the net, it was not going to be much of an issue, so long as he never scored that winning goal to give him a trophy in life.
7. Relationship Phases
We may speak on the one hand of the ‘Philistine’ malice that pretends to care so much, and could even take you up to a first floor, whereas it secretly schemes to cast you altogether down or otherwise frustrate your further climb. On the other hand, however, is the further truth that not everybody has been ordained by God to always be by you; not every relationship is for life. Some would be helpers only for a season. When their time is up, they will be gone, and should be released to go. To force these to continue their charity beyond their dispensation is to both exploit them and abuse the relationship. These are not ‘evil ears’ vexed by your glad tidings; they are merely helpers who have completed their phase in your life and should be gladly released, no matter how hard the rest of the path might seem without them.
No matter how much you like a teacher, when you have completed your term, you have to leave their class. Some people will be friends for life, others only for a mile. Seek the wisdom to know each category. Not everybody who starts the journey with you from the same bus stop or airport will end the journey with you. Destinations are not the same for all co-travellers. We might all have the same take-off point, but not the same final stop. That the Philistines had been there for David in his wilderness phase did not mean that they were destined to escort him also to the throne; that they had been part of his past did not automatically make them part of his future. Relationship phases.
In 1 Samuel 10:1-6, Prophet Samuel notified the newly anointed Saul that God had prepared three consecutive contacts and helpers in his path. The prophet was careful to explain that Saul was not to tie any of those benefactors to his apron and force them along his private route, to continue their charities. Samuel made it very clear, “THEN shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel” (1 Samuel 10:3). The newly anointed Saul was to “go on forward”; to go “from thence,” and then “meet” his next contacts – for that next phase of his life. The previous location was prophecy-identified; it was God-specified, but which did not mean that he was to remain and die there. That had been a place of spectacular blessings, but not the place for all the blessings meant for his life. “Go on forward from thence … and … meet thee three men ….”
If you don’t leave some previous place, you cannot get to the future place of further blessings in the ‘plain of Tabor.’ Everybody leaves somewhere to get to somewhere else. To get to London from Lisbon, you have to leave Lisbon. To connect Accra from Cairo, you have to disconnect from Cairo. If you don’t leave one place, you cannot get to the other. Similarly, if you do not disconnect from some people, you might never meet the other people whom Providence has assigned to benefit you at the further stops of life. And because you never left, you might never know whom you never met, and have forever missed. Some people you will never meet until you have left others (Genesis 13:14a). All spirits don’t agree; all currents do not flow in the same direction. Even in marriage, there is no cleaving without leaving, sad as leaving might sometimes feel (Mark 10:7).
8. Battles without Sentiments
Accept all help that God brings your way, but be discerning of every moment. If it means accepting the challenge to go to war today against those who yesterday seemed to have housed you, you might have to do it. Those Philistines were outspokenly committed to capturing David. The intent was so obvious that even the blind and stupid did not need to be convinced about it. The implications were multiple and worrisome. Those Philistines were probably going to treat David the way they had treated one of David’s ancestors, Samson the Strongman, whom they captured and blinded; an inflicted terminal blindness from which he was never to recover (Judges 16: 20-21). No sentiments; David had to go out against them after enquiring from God. He had to boldly confront them before they blinded him like Samson and shaved the fresh oil off his tender head.
God used the Egyptians to preserve Moses in his tender days. When the time came, however, without sentiments, he called down plagues upon the same patrons of his past. Sometimes God can use the very enemy to preserve you, but that does not mean making perpetual peace with that enemy. God used the Philistines to preserve David in his vulnerable days as he sought refuge from Saul. That term had ended. David had become a man. He was not to make permanent friends with temporary acquaintances; he was not to sign a bond with whom he should destroy. God had to make the Philistines themselves to provoke the war in which they would be routed. If David had been the one who initiated the war, it might have been widely interpreted unpleasantly as ingratitude. God knows how to vindicate His own. May the enemy start the war that will destroy them and vindicate you. Amen.
19 So David asked the Lord, "Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
The Lord replied to David, "Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you."
20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there… (2 Samuel 5:19-20, New Living Translation).
Amen.“Go ahead … and [defeat] the Philistines there.” Some battles won’t be fought in the bedroom, but out there where the Philistines are; and you do not defeat whom you do not engage. “So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there…” Amen.
From The Preacher’s diary,
September 6, 2019.