2 Samuel 5:24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. ESV
One of the problems of being the pastor of the same church for a number of years is that sooner or later the congregation has heard most of your stories. For instance, most of the people at Twin Oaks have heard my story about the night I surrendered my life to go into the ministry. For twelve years I wrestled with God’s call upon my life. Sometimes I doubted whether or not God could use me and at others times I was so far away from God that I didn’t care. It was not until one Sunday night when my pastor preached on a passage from the book of James that my eyes were opened and I finally realized that the only way to do God’s will – is to do God’s will. The verse of scripture that spoke loudly to me that night was – James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. ESV In others words, when God says “Go!” we should not question or hesitate, but instead “Go!”
The first time David asked the Lord about fighting the Philistines, the Lord instructed him to proceed straight ahead. But the second time David asked that question, the Lord told him to go around to the side and wait. What was David to wait for? He was to wait for the sound of the wind blowing in the tops of the mulberry trees. Why was David to wait for this sound? God was going to use this strange phenomena to help him against the enemy. When the Philistines heard the sound, they would think that they were completely surrounded and thus David would have a greater chance of defeating them.
David could have scoffed at God’s instructions. “Surely the Lord wouldn’t have me to do something like this. I can think of a thousand reasons why this won’t work.” What would have happened if David questioned God’s guidance and chosen instead to do what he thought best? No doubt David and his army would have been defeated.
In closing, I will share with you a portion of a devotional by Charles Spurgeon –
“There are times when God seems especially to favour Zion, such seasons ought to be to them like “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.” We ought then to be doubly prayerful, doubly earnest, wrestling more at the throne than we have been wont to do. Action should then be prompt and vigorous. The tide is flowing-now let us pull manfully for the shore.”
“Only be sure you have the sail up. Do not miss the gale for want of preparation for it. Seek help of God, that you may be more earnest in duty when made more strong in faith; that you may be more constant in prayer when you have more liberty at the throne; that you may be more holy in your conversation whilst you live more closely with Christ.” Morning and Evening, January 30 (Morning)
When God says ‘wait’ – we should wait. But when He says ‘go’ – we should go