Depends on the Question

The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the LORD, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the LORD will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the LORD commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer. (2 Samuel 5:18-25)

Sometimes war is the answer. It just depends on what the question is. Shortly after David became king over a united twelve tribes of Israel, the Philistines set out to crush his new kingdom. They had, but a few years before, destroyed the nation of Israel—or so they had thought—when they killed Saul and the crown prince, Jonathan. But David had come to power and reunified what had been the scattered tribes of the Jewish people. So the Philistines deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim, the broad plain southwest of Jerusalem, the city that David had just taken from the Jebusites and was establishing as his new capital. David asked God if he should respond to the Philistine provocation. God told him to attack them. So, at Baal Perazim, located just northwest of Jerusalem, David defeated the Philistines and captured their idols. The capture of the idols demonstrated to Israel and the Philistines both that the God of Israel was the stronger God. Baal Perazim means “lord of breakthroughs.” Yahweh had “broken through” his enemies like water punching through a dam.

God can break through whatever it is that stands in our way.

Send to Kindle

About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
This entry was posted in Bible, Religion, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *