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In 2 Samuel 6 after the failure of David in retrieving the ark (2 Samuel 6:1-1 Kings :) directly the story follows that he brings the ark in the right way to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:12-Psalms :). The chronicler does not do that. Before continuing with the description of the upbringing of the ark in 1 Chronicles 15, he mentions in this chapter some events that have already taken place. It seems that he wants to encourage the remnant with this. He wants to tell them that David is dismissed by the LORD, but remains the man of His pleasure.
To this end, this chapter describes events and messages which make this clear, regardless of the chronological order. It is a chapter full of blessings that are the part of David. Just as David by his unfaithfulness is not put away by the LORD, so may the returned remnant, for whom the books of Chronicles are written, know that they also have not been dismissed by the LORD. They are a remnant blessed by the LORD.
In the fight against the Philistines in the second part of this chapter we see another aspect. There we see that David is exercised to learn to consult the LORD. The blessed results of this, the two victories, are meant to give David courage to raise the ark to Jerusalem. This will also happen in the next chapter.
The Kingship of David Established
The encouraging remarks begin with the mention of the friendship statements of Hiram, the king of Syria. These expressions of friendship consist of sending materials and people to build a house for David. In what Hiram does, we see the fulfillment of God’s promises that He will bless His people by also making the nations subservient to His people (Isaiah 60:5; Isaiah 61:6). Such kindness is also experienced by the remnant returned from Babylonian exile (Ezra 1:1-Numbers :; Ezra 6:8).
David’s reputation is gaining wide recognition. He owes this not to himself, but to the LORD. He gives him that great name. He does not do this primarily for David, the man after his heart, but “for the sake of His people Israel”. Through David he blesses his people. Here we see the great love of God for His people. Something similar we hear from the mouth of the queen of Sheba about Solomon. She says that the LORD has appointed Solomon king over Israel “because the LORD loved Israel forever” (1 Kings 10:9).
In the same way, the church is the object of the love of God, a love which He proves by even giving His Son as Head above all else to the church (Ephesians 1:22-Isaiah :). Christ is the Man according to God’s heart, through whom He gives all blessings to each of His individually and to His people as a whole. We too should be a blessing to each member of the church individually and to the church as a whole. In a broader sense, we must be a blessing for all people, that is to say, we pass on the blessing we ourselves have received from the Lord. God wants us to be channels of His blessing in every respect.
Family of David
David takes still more women, as the kings used to do in the countries around him. It is not an endorsement of what he does, for it is not according to God’s thoughts from the beginning and it also goes against the king’s law (Deuteronomy 17:17). It is mentioned here to underline the grace of God. We see that grace expressed therein, that among his children are “Nathan” and “Solomon” (1 Chronicles 14:4). Nathan is the ancestor of Mary, and Solomon is the ancestor of Joseph. Through them run the genealogies of the Lord Jesus given in Luke 3 and Matthew 1 (Luke 3:31-Jonah :; Matthew 1:6).
David Defeats the Philistines
The Philistines go up against David as soon as they hear that David is “anointed king over all Israel”. That places us back in time to 1 Chronicles 11, where David is anointed king over all Israel (1 Chronicles 11:3). This fact leads the Philistines “to go up in search of David”, not to honor him like Hiram, but to kill him. The battle that the Philistines search of is intended by the LORD as an exercise for David to teach him to consult Him. He did not do this in the previous chapter when he brought up the ark. Now he gets a do-over to consult the LORD. This is the practical reason.
The spiritual reason is that there are spiritual conditions attached to what we want to do for the Lord. The first condition is that we must do what we want to do for the Lord in the way He indicates. Another condition is that in doing the Lord’s will we keep ‘the Philistines’ as far away from us as possible. Philistines claim the same place as God’s people, while they are not God’s people. They are a picture of the nominal Christians, who confess that Jesus is Lord, but are essentially His enemies (Matthew 7:22-Isaiah :).
David inquires of God, of Him Who is the Almighty, if he should go up and also if God will give his enemies into his hand. The LORD, the God of the covenant with His people, answers both questions in the affirmative. When David goes up, he defeats the Philistines, as the LORD has said. He gives God the honor of the victory and gives the place where it happens the name that honors God as the Lord of victory. “Baal-perazim” means “Lord of the eruptions”.
The name Baal-perazim reminds of the name Perez-uzza (1 Chronicles 13:11), that is to say of the burning of the anger of the LORD against Uzza (Perazim is the plural of Perez). In Uzza, the burning of God’s anger is the result of not consulting the LORD. Here the LORD’s anger burns against the enemy because David has asked God and is walking in His way.
David’s description of how the victory is achieved – he speaks of “a breakthrough of water” – is reminiscent of the violence of a torrential flood. Apparently David ran with his army down from the heights and ran the enemies underfoot (cf. Judges 4:14-Nehemiah :).
The Philistines who were able to escape have not thought of taking their gods with them in their haste to flee. Their gods, whom they have taken with them to help them in their fight against David, have of course served them in nothing. How worthless they are is underlined when they are burned on David’s orders. This is done in accordance with the commandment of God (Deuteronomy 7:5; Deuteronomy 7:25).
David Defeats the Philistines Again
The Philistines have suffered a defeat, but they do not give up the battle. We must also remember that we are dealing with an indefatigable enemy who will never give in. Every defeat we inflict on him will sooner or later be followed by another attack. So also here.
Again the Philistines seek the attack against David. It will result in a second battle, which will result in more enemies being defeated and the power and fame of David being spread in all countries (1 Chronicles 14:17). There is also great fear for him in all nations, a fear which the LORD places on them (1 Chronicles 14:17).
When the enemies threaten David again, he inquires of God again for advice. He is not lax and does not ignore the enemy. He recognizes the danger. At the same time he is not overconfident in assuming that it will be good to attack the enemy again because it was good the first time. God also answers now, but indicates that David must now follow a different tactic.
It means a new exercise for David in following the instructions of God. The exercise he gets now is bigger than the first one. He must wait for God and listen carefully if he hears Him. The sound he has to pay attention to is “the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam tree”. This sound must not have been the rustling of the leaves, but the sound of Someone walking (cf. Genesis 3:8). It will be an army of God, an angelic power, facing the enemies of Israel.
Only when God sets the signal to green, David may go. He does so. The result is that the Philistines are again completely defeated. The Philistines who fled are followed far away and killed.
If we notice God’s work around us, it is like “the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam tree”. It should arouse us to prayer and commitment. When we hear that some believers want to pray together, it is a ‘sound of God’s footsteps’. A time of crisis or tragedy in our lives is also like the sound of God’s footsteps. If we hear that sound, let us go more than before into the struggle of prayer.
In prayer we can fight for a blessing on the preaching of God’s Word, both in the gospel and in the building up of the church. God is busy and uses us to do His work.
David goes out to defeat the enemies and does what God has commanded him to do and defeats the enemies. Doing what God says is the way that victories are achieved.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 14". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/