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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

God of the Trees

2 Samuel 5:22-25

Verse 25 So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

We saw yesterday that the Philistines had abandoned their gods on the battlefield as the fled to their homes. They weren’t deterred for long and we find them coming back to try their hand at getting David and his men. These enemies of God’s people return to the valley area of the most recent skirmish between the two nations.

The Philistines spread themselves out in the valley. This battle strategy served a couple of different purposes. First it would make it appear they were bigger than they were which may have the people of Israel retreating before they had even begun, thinking they were outnumbered. Then there was the idea that if they spread out and they noticed one area being beat badly the rest would have a better chance of retreating with fewer casualties.

On the Israel side of the equation David once again sees this as God’s battle and inquires of Him what they should do. God’s answer this time is a bit different than the first, a strategy only God could set up. While the enemy had spread out along the valley, God instructs David to circle his men around the back of the Philistine army, to a place in front of some poplar trees.

These poplar trees were probably the Euphrates Poplar which can grow in the desert-like region. Their leaves change shape as the tree grows to lead to more acceptance of sunlight. They are pollinated by the wind and bloom between February and April. The trunks and branches of these trees are rough and gnarly looking which would have made it easy to hide among if they wanted to ambush the enemy.

God’s final instruction was to wait for the sound of the wind rustling in the poplar trees. A far cry from the horns or shouts to announce the battle as God used in Jericho and in Gideon’s attack on the Midianites. This was the sound of God going before them into battle, yet another reminder this was God’s war. Once the sound came God’s army took up the battle and chased the Philistines all the way from Gibeon (northwest of Jerusalem) to Gezer (which lies west of Jerusalem). Once again God had proven His being the general of His army.

Making It Personal

Has God ever told you to wait quietly before making a move? Why do you think He needed you to be quiet? What should you do while you are quiet?

Making It Personal Kids

Has your mom or dad ever told you to be quiet so you could listen? Why do you have to be quiet to listen? Why would Jesus want you to be quiet and listen to Him?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for Your patience with us. Help us learn the importance of being quiet and listening for Your leading and then obeying when You guide us forward. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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