Sunday, 21 March 2021

‘When you hear the sound of marching in the poplar trees’

We should not always press on with doing things the same old way we have done them before. This may not be God’s plan for us.

Source: Heavenly Treasures Ministry
When David heard that the Philistines had come, he asked God whether he should go and attack them. The Lord told him to do it and said He would deliver them into David’s hands: 2 Samuel 5:18-19 ‘Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the LORD, ‘Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hands? The LORD answered him, ‘Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands’.

How often do we go ahead and make our decisions and even fight our battles without asking the Lord or seeking His Counsel on how to deal with the situation that confronts us? We know we should go to God first, but I am sure I am not the only one who, at times, fails to do so. David sought the Lord and followed His instructions, and all went well for Him. He had total success on that day.

As so often happens the situation arose again for David. The Philistines came back. David again sought the Lord; 2 Samuel 5:22-25 ‘Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the LORD, and he answered, ‘Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the LORD has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army’. So David did as the LORD commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer’

David did not assume that because he had done something one way the first time, he would automatically have success if he did the same again. He knew it was important to seek the Lord before making the decision and sure enough the instructions from the Lord on this occasion were completely different. This time he had to wait until he heard the sound of marching in the top of the poplar trees. So here is another lesson for us. We should not always press on with doing things the same old way we have done them before. This may not be God’s plan for us. He may want us to do the same things a different way or do something completely different altogether. We need to continue to seek His will for us individually and also as a family of believers.

Source: Meme
David was told that if he waited until he heard the sound of marching in the poplar trees, he would know that it was time to act because the Lord had gone before him. We must never act if we are told to wait. Even if we know what we should be doing, we should wait until we know the Lord has gone before us. Charles Spurgeon said: ‘Do not, I beseech you, go before the cloud’.  And also; ‘He goes on a fool's errand who goes before God’.  Have you ever thought how odd that instruction must have seemed to the rest of the army? What must they have they have thought when David told them that they could not act until ‘they heard the sound of marching in the poplar trees?’ Sometimes we may have a word or instruction from the Lord, either ourselves or via someone else, that seems strange or even crazy to us. If it has truly come from God, we must be determined to carry it out no matter how odd it appears to us and however much it takes us out of our comfort zone. We need to obey God whatever the cost.

David and his army had to be prepared to advance quickly once they heard the Lord`s marching in the trees. We need to be ready for battle, clothed with our spiritual armour. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us very clearly what we must have in order to be prepared to fight the battles of life: ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people’.

Father help us to seek you for guidance and instruction in every situation. Help us to be prepared to act immediately or to wait patiently, whatever you instruct us to do. Help us not to second guess you or go before you into battle as we sometimes want to do. Help us to be prepared to act on your instructions even if they seem strange or are outside our comfort zone. Help us to wear your armour at all times. Help us to listen carefully so that we may discern the sound of marching in the poplar trees. Amen.


Author: Thelma Cameron

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