As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle. – 1 Chronicles 14:15a
The Philistines were attacking. David wanted to know how to respond. His first inquiry of God revealed that he was to attack the Philistines straightaway and God would give him victory. David followed God’s instruction and gained victory. Shortly after, the Philistines mounted another attack. “So David inquired of God again, and God answered him, ‘Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees’ ” (1 Chron. 14:14)
David was a well-trained warrior, a strategist. Yet, we find that David’s dependence on God to direct his efforts was very great. In fact, after he won the first battle, he went right back to inquire again. This is the most important lesson we can learn from this story. God told David to attack, but only after he heard the marching in the balsam trees.
How many times have you or I operated in the workplace based only on our skill and ability, without seeking to know the details of God’s will in the matter? David could have simply assumed that since he had won the last battle, surely God would give him victory the same way. No. David had learned that communicating with the living God is the only sure way of victory. His skill was not enough. He had to have God’s blessing.
How many times have we worked in our work life the same way each time only because it was the way we did it last time? What if God has a better way? What if God has a different plan than ours? “So David inquired of God…” These are the important words that we are to learn from. We must be in such relationship with God that we are constantly inquiring of His mind on every matter. When we do this, we can expect the same results that David achieved-success in our endeavor and recognition by God.
“So David’s fame spread throughout every land, and the Lord made all the nations fear him” (1 Chron. 14:17). This is the reward of obedience to God. We don’t have to build a name for ourselves. God will see to it that we are honored for our obedience. He wants to make known those servants who are willing to obey Him at all costs.