So David asked the LORD, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly give you the victory.” - 2 Samuel 5:19
A consultant is usually someone who has proved, through long experience, that he knows what to do, and who is willing, for a fee, to share his insights with those who seek his help. More experienced and insightful than any human consultant is the Lord. The Lord’s credentials are impeccable, he is anxious to be consulted, and he offers his insights free of charge. Sadly, he is not always consulted, nor is his advice always sought out.
David was too smart to make such a serious mistake. The Philistines, on hearing of David’s accession to the throne of Israel, decided that they needed to get control of him in a hurry, so they sent their hordes to capture him. This presented the new king with an immediate crisis. David was no stranger to military action, and he had proven many times that he was not lacking in strategic know-how or sheer courage. And he had with him many experienced veterans of foreign wars. So he had no shortage of military intelligence available. But David was smart enough to know he needed more than that—he needed divine guidance. With wisdom befitting a king, he asked the Lord what he should do.
Many men have stumbled at this point. Some are too self-confident and do not wish to consult the Lord, while others do not know how to consult him. They trust their own instincts and expertise rather than the Lord and then make decisions that lead to problems. They do not realize that the Lord knows what is best for them and is eager to work in their lives.
So the key is to consult the Lord. But how? David’s methods are not stipulated. Either he received a message from the Urim and Thummim (a means of communication of which we know very little), or a gifted seer or prophet told him a word from the Lord. We may not know David’s methods, but we can certainly follow his example, because we are talking about the same God! We can bring our choices to the Lord in prayer, study the word of God for guiding principles, listen to the counsel of wise people in our lives, and, using our God-given reasoning capabilities, arrive at the direction we will take, all the time asking the Lord to stop us if we are making a wrong decision. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that we can bring our decisions to the Lord in this way and then go ahead, knowing that he is in charge and is leading us through his Holy Spirit.
For Further Study: 2 Samuel 5:17-25
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