In 2 Samuel 5:1-25, you learn that David had been anointed king over all of Israel. Not just king over the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but over all twelve tribes. When the Philistines (enemies of Israel) heard (in verse 17) that David had been anointed king over all of Israel they came up to seek him. (Verse 19) says that David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.” And David did go up and defeated the Philistines and burned their images (verses 20-21).
However, the Philistines came back to fight David and Israel (verse 22). David once again inquired of the Lord as what to do. God said don’t go up, but come up behind them over against the mulberry trees. But David and his army were not to attack until (verse 24), “And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself (or go out to fight): for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.”
There are several lessons to learn concerning how and when to attack the enemy of God and of His People:
1) Let it be noted that the enemy never gives up. He returns daily and sometimes hourly in our daily lives.
2) The child of God must inquire of the Lord each time the enemy attacks. God can see all things. He and He alone has the pathway of Victory against the enemy. The enemy is crafty and is a deceiver. He attacks in different ways and at different times. He comes to us on our blind side many times (Ephesians 4:12-16). The Hope of Success of Victory is Christ’s Instructions as found in His Word.
3) God’s Instructions of Victory are of His own design. In David’s case, God told him to go in the first battle. But, now God says, “Thou shalt not go up.” That is, don’t use My last instructions, but now go behind them and wait until My sign comes about. David, follow My Instructions now for this battle. Devid had to learn to be still; submit to God’s Word; and rest in His Instructions, for He cannot fail.
4) Victory comes when we follow God’s Instructions exactly as God instructs (Hebrews 11:6); not as you think. God needs no help in planning and carrying out the Victory in the Battle. (Verse 25) says, “And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines…”
Notice (verse 24) where God explains His Sign to David when he was to start the battle. God had explained the How, that is to come up behind them (verse 23); but now He explains the When, “And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees” (verse 24a).
In the physical sense, the sound comes from the wind blowing the leaves of the trees. But in the spiritual sense, the sound comes from the Holy Spirit of God.
1) The wind represents the Holy Spirit in God’s Word in many instances:
A) In the Old Testament: the Hebrew word is “ruach,” which means breath, air, strength, wind, breeze, spirit and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 63:10-11; Psalms 51:12)
B) In the New Testament: the Greek word is “pneuma,” which primarily means “the wind;” then especially the Spirit; which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful.
(John 3:8) ”The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
(Acts 2:1-4) “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (3) And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
2) The Holy Spirit is the Teacher of Truth, being the Author of Truth, and being called “The Spirit of Truth.” (See John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:13-15; and 1 John 2:20, 27.)
A) To follow God’s Word you must be able to “hear”
B) Be sure that you discern what you hear is God speaking and not your flesh
C) Be sure that you follow God’s instructions
(1) (Mark 4:24) we are to “Take heed what ye hear”
(2) (Luke 8:18) we are to “Take heed therefore how ye hear”
(3) (Luke 8:21) “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”
4) There is only one recipe for success in our spiritual battles and that is to hear God’s Word of Instruction and then do it; obey His Word. You must not run ahead of God and think you have got the enemy figured out and that you know what to do because of past experiences with the same enemy. God’s dealings with David in our text give us proof that with every attack of the enemy you must inquire of God and follow His Instructions. Then, and only then, will you be an overcomer.
In these devotions, I do not specify and explain the multitude of ways the enemy attacks. But I do give you the principle of Victory; that is God’s Word as spoken and explained by the Holy Spirit, and your obedience to the same; (Verse 24c) “for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines (the enemy).”
Therefore, what sound do you hear? Is it a Word of Instruction from God as to how and when to battle the enemy, or is it a word from your flesh? Remember, vain is the help of man (or the flesh); for our help (our instruction) comes from the Lord by the Holy Spirit. (Psalms 121:1-6; Philippians 4:13, 19)