v 19. So David asked the Lord,
v 23. again David asked the Lord what to do.
‘Lucky old David.’ you might think to yourself. It all seems so simple; just ask and you hear a little voice (!) that tells you what to do. Would that it was as simple as that! I’ve never literally heard a voice telling me an exact course of action in a confusing situation. But I have prayed and been convinced of the right thing to do either as a friend has spoken with me, or that little voice of conscience has piped up, or an unexpected inner prompting (call it the Holy Spirit if you will) has clarified things and set me in the right direction. However it comes about I believe God still guides his people today when they take time to ask and patiently seek what God wants.
And there is the rub – right there; taking time to ask and patiently wait for enlightenment does not come easy in our ‘Hurry, Hurry, NOW’ world. Much quicker and easier to run through a list of pro’s and con’s or make a decision based on what a friend has told you. The ‘God-thing’ takes time – and we are anxious to move on with our lives. Waiting seems unproductive and can even make us appear indecisive. If you are not prepared to wait for an answer why bother to ask in the first place?
As the newly recognised King, David was determined to walk the God-Path and so asked for wisdom in his decision-making. What struck me was that David got a different kind of answer on each occasion. The first answer was to engage in a direct confrontation with the Philistines: ‘Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.’ (v 19) whereas the second time it was ‘Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplartrees.’ (v 23).
God’s plans for us fit each occasion precisely – previous experience does not necessarily provide the right plan for a new day!