2 Samuel 2: Lesson on Spiritual Warfare from Israel’s Civil War Over its Second King

Introduction: During the time period of the Judges, Israel fought its first civil war (Jdgs. 20:20-48). Here, Israel fought its second civil war as the people chose sides between David, God’s anointed king, and the last son of Saul, Ish-bosheth. David symbolized the promise of the Spirit. Ish-bosheth symbolized the flesh. Each tribe in Israel had to choose between the Spirit-led leader and the leader of the flesh. Every believer today faces a similar civil war within them. The flesh is constantly at war with the Spirit. Each person must decide daily whether the Spirit or the flesh will rule over them. From Israel’s civil war, God reveals seven lessons on winning your daily battle of spiritual warfare. These include: (1) prayer, (2) obedience, (3) love, (4) being Spirit-led, (5) denial, (6) accountability, and (7) perseverance.

First, after Saul’s death, David carefully sought God’s guidance on when and where he could return to his people. He was the rightful heir to the throne. But he had many enemies. From David’s example, victory in spiritual warfare begins by letting the King of Kings guide you through prayer. Second, David was obedient to God’s direction. As a result of his faith-led obedience, God initially rewarded David by making him King of Judah. From David’s example, the next step in succeeding in spiritual warfare is being obedient to the will of the King of Kings. As He did with David, God will also reward faith-led obedience. Third, David’s first act as King of Judah was to show love and kindness to one of Saul’s closest allies and a likely enemy of David. From David’s example, the next step in victory in spiritual warfare is to be motivated by love and kindness, even toward your potential enemies. Fourth, the tribe of Judah chose the Spirit-led leader David. The remaining 11 tribes chose the leader of the flesh, Ish-bosheth. From this, God reveals that the next step toward victory in spiritual warfare is choosing to be Spirit-led and not led by the flesh. Fifth, the general and his men for the 11 tribes fought with the general and his men for David. David’s men did not give in when the flesh attacked them. From their example, God reveals that the next step to being victorious in spiritual warfare is to make no accommodation with the desires of the flesh. Sixth, a leader for David’s men tried to win glory for himself by trusting in his own speed to kill the general for the 11 tribes. Because he acted alone, he died in battle. From his failure, God reveals that in order to prevail in spiritual warfare you need to find accountability and protection within the Body of Christ. Finally, the remaining leaders in David’s army gave up and agreed to a truce after the death of one of their leaders. This, however, only prolonged the war. From their mistake, God reveals that to succeed in spiritual warfare you need to persevere in your faith and never give up after setbacks.

1. Prayer: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Let God Guide You Through Prayer. 2 Sam. 2:1.

  • David sought God’s guidance before returning to his people. After mourning the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, David sought out and received God’s guidance regarding whether he could return to his people: “1 Then it came about afterwards that David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go up to one of the cities of Judah?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Go up.’ So David said, ‘Where shall I go up?’ And He said, ‘To Hebron.’” (2 Sam. 2:1). For a year and four months, David lived as a fugitive from Saul under the protection of the Philistines (1 Sam. 27:7; 30:26). He was a hero to some. Others considered him a traitor and a threat to the royal dynasty established through the line of Saul. Thus, David cautiously sought God’s guidance on when and where he could return.

David prayed for God to guide him1

  • David proved himself to be a God-fearing leader by seeking God’s will through prayer. David committed many terrible sins. But he frequently sought out God’s guidance. For example, after finding refuge from Saul in the forests of Hereth with his 400 men, God tested David’s faith by calling him to go to an unprotected place to deliver the people of Keilah from Philistine oppression. Before setting out to deliver God’s people at great risk to himself and his men, David twice confirmed God’s guidance through prayer (1 Sam. 23:2-4). Later, after hearing of Saul’s plans to attack David after he exposed his forces, David turned to a priest to help guide his steps (1 Sam. 23:9-15). After becoming king, David continued to seek God’s guidance before he fought the Philistines (e.g., 2 Sam. 5:19). David’s prayer life is an example for all believers to follow.

  • Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance through the Word and prayer. The priests used an ephod and the two stones called Urim and Thummim to discern God’s will (1 Sam. 23:6, 9; 30:7, 8; Nu. 27:21). Today, you can inquire of God’s will simply by reading the Word and by praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you. David later recorded in a psalm that he would turn to God’s Word to guide his path: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105). The Holy Spirit will help you to remember the Word and apply it in your life. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:26; 14:16; 15:26; 16:13). The Holy Spirit will also give you wisdom: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (Jam. 1:5). “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” (Ps. 51:6). “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6). Are you reading the Word and praying for the Spirit to guide you?

2. Obedience: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Be Obedient to God’s Will. 2 Sam. 2:2-4(a).

  • God rewards David for his obedience by making him King of Judah. After faithfully following God’s direction by moving to the city of Hebron, God rewarded David for his faith-led obedience by directing the elders of Judah to confirm David’s anointing as their king: “So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up his men who were with him, each with his household; and they lived in the cities of Hebron. 4a Then the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah.” (2 Sam. 2:2-4(a)). David brought to Hebron both his family and an army of 600 warriors and their families: “Not only had David wives, whom he took with him to Hebron, but many of his warriors were married, and thus they and their households formed a numerous body of people, for whom Hebron could scarcely find accommodation. Moreover they had flocks and herds captured from the Amalekites, for which they needed pasturage. And therefore David dispersed them in the towns and villages of which Hebron was the capital, posting them in such a manner as to render it easy for him to summon them together, while taking care that they did not injure his tribesmen, or dispossess them of their lauds. We may feel sure that he consulted the chief men of Hebron as to these arrangements, and obtained their approval.” (the Pulpit Commentary on 2 Sam. 2).2

David was anointed as king in Hebron3

  • David waited on God’s timing to become King of Judah. Upon arriving in Hebron, David did not attempt to seize the throne. Instead, he showed great patience to allow events to unfold in God’s timing. An estimated 15 to 20 years earlier, Samuel anointed David with oil and the Holy Spirit to be Israel’s next king (1 Sam. 16:12-13). Yet, David never once used this anointing as a pretext to depose Saul. After David proved himself to be faithful, obedient, and patient, God confirmed His anointing through the elders of Judah. David’s confirmation as king is recorded in the New Testament as among the most important events in Old Testament history: “After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’” (Acts 13:22). David’s name meant “beloved” of “loved one.” He is mentioned in the Old Testament more than any other leader. Jesus would also become known as the son of David (Matt. 9:27). Like David, God wants you to show your love for Him through faith and patience.

  • Be obedient to God’s Word. On multiple occasions, the Bible also records how David faithfully obeyed God’s Word. While Saul hunted him in the wilderness, he obeyed the prophet Gad to leave the safety of Moab for the territory of Judah (1 Sam. 22:3-5). When David and his men stepped out of their shelter in obedience, God blessed them with victory over their more powerful Philistine adversaries. After leaving his sanctuary in Judah, God helped David liberate the people of Keilah from Philistine oppression when Saul did nothing to help them (1 Sam. 23:5). When your faith leads to obedience, God also promises to bless you. Like David, God wants you to show your love to Him through your obedience. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (Jo. 15:10; Matt. 19:17). “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). Are you obedient to God’s Word?

  • God picked Israel’s King to serve the King of Kings. At all times, God directed the events in selecting David as the next king. When Moses prophesied of the day when the Jews would demand a king, he warned that God, the true King of Kings, would select their kings “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.” (Dt. 17:17). Moses gave this counsel so that no king would boast that he became king based upon his own merit. The people previously wanted a king “like all the nations”. (1 Sam. 8:5). Now, God would pick a king after His heart, not an idolatrous, self-absorbed leader like the other nations. David later showed that he was a man after God’s heart by giving God all the credit for selecting him to be the next king. “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father's house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chron. 28:4). When you are successful in your endeavors and people praise you, do you turn that praise to God?

  • God is sovereign over all creation and every government. God anointed David as the future king 15 to 20 years earlier when David was a lowly shepherd. These events also show that God is sovereign and in control over kings, nations, and even time. Daniel explained: “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.” (Da. 2:21). “He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away.” (Job 12:23). “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust.” (Is. 40:15). “All the nations are as nothing before Him, they are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.” (Is. 40:17). “But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation.” (Jer. 10:10). “The LORD is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land.” (Ps. 10:16). “You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; . . .” (Is. 9:3(a)). “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan. 4:35). Have you placed your trust in powerful people or in God alone for your deliverance?

3. Love: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Show Love For Your Enemies. 2 Sam. 2:4(b)-7.

  • David promised kindness for the men of Jabesh-gilead who honored his enemy. After being selected king of Judah, one might have expected him to try to unite all of Israel under his leadership. Instead, he honored a group of Jews who risked their lives to honor David’s former enemy: “4b And they told David, saying, ‘It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.’ David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, ‘May you be blessed of the Lord because you have shown this kindness to Saul your lord, and have buried him. Now may the Lord show lovingkindness and truth to you; and I also will show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. Now therefore, let your hands be strong and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”’ (2 Sam. 2(b)-7). After Saul died, most of Jews who served him did nothing when the Philistines desecrated his body (1 Sam. 31:8-10). Only the people of Jabesh-gilead were willing to risk their lives to retrieve Saul’s body and give him a proper burial (1 Sam. 31:11-13; 1 Chron. 10:11-12). When Saul walked with God, he rallied the nation to deliver the people of Jabesh-gilead in modern Jordan from mutilation and servitude to the Ammonites (1 Sam. 11:1-11). The people of Jabesh-gilead remembered and therefore acted to give Saul a proper funeral. David also mourned Saul’s death, even though they were enemies. (2 Sam. 1:11-27). Here, he also thanked these men for honoring Saul (2 Sam. 2:4-7). David later honored Saul and Jonathan by moving the bodies for proper burial in their home city of Zela (2 Sam. 21:14). Like David, God wants you to be a leader by loving your enemies.

  • Love your enemies. The people of Jabesh-gilead might have seemed to be the most loyal to the line of Saul and natural enemies of David. Yet, rather than seeing these people as enemies, David showed honor and love toward them for their loyalty to their former king. Like David, God calls upon you to show love to those who might seem like your natural enemies: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44). “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Lk. 6:27). “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;” (Prov. 25:21; Ro. 12:20). “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Ro. 12:21). Are you showing love to your enemies?

4. Spirit-Led: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Be Led by the Spirit. 2 Sam. 2:8-11.

  • Saul’s army commander Abner selected Saul’s son as king over the remaining 11 tribes. Many who had influence and power under Saul were unwilling to give up their power for God’s appointed heir David. Thus, they selected Saul’s last remaining son, Ish-bosheth, as the King of Israel: “But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites, over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, even over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he was king for two years. The house of Judah, however, followed David. 11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.” (2 Sam. 2:8-11). Abner was the leader in the revolt against David. He stood to lose the most from David’s rise to power. He was the head of Saul’s army (1 Sam. 14:50; 17:55). He was also a close relative of Saul. (1 Sam. 14:51). Some believe that he was Saul’s cousin (1 Sam. 14:51). Others believe that he was an uncle (1 Chron. 8:29-33, Josephus (“Ant.” vi. 6, § 3)). David humiliated Abner when David publicly rebuked him for failing to protect Saul after David entered Saul’s camp and seized Saul’s spear from next to him while he was sleeping (1 Sam. 26:13-15). An earlier listing of Saul’s sons did not include Ish-bosheth: “Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan and Ishvi and Malchi-shua . . .” (1 Sam. 14:49). Ish-bosheth was 40 years old when Abner made him king. Because he would have been alive at the time God previously listed Saul’s sons, some believe that he was the son of one of Saul’s concubines. If this is correct, he would have been regarded as an illegitimate son. Abner, however, used him to maintain his power. He likely acted as a regent and made decisions for him. David had God’s anointing and had a claim to the throne because he was married to Saul’s daughter Michal (1 Sam. 18:17-30). But David did not force his rule upon the others. Instead, he patiently waited years for God’s will to be done.

Abner united the 11 tribes against David4

  • Use your free will to be led by the Spirit. The people of Israel had a choice. They could choose God’s anointed leader David. Or, they could select the man of the flesh Ish-bosheth. God has given every person free will and a similar choice to make. Each person has the free will to select Jesus or the ruler of this world as their king. Just as the Jews struggled between the things of the Spirit and the flesh, so does every believer. You make this choice every day when you decide whether to be guided by the Spirit or the flesh: “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (Gal. 5:17). “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” (Ro. 7:15). “whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Phil. 3:19). “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25). “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16). “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (Ro. 8:5). “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2). Each day, you must make the conscious decision to let the Spirit guide you.

5. Denial: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Don’t Give into the Flesh. 2 Sam. 2:12-17.

  • Israel fought its second civil war. After each side selected their king, the general for Ish-bosheth, Abner, and the general for David, Joab, met. Abner challenged Joab’s men to a battle. But his forces lost because God was with David: “12 Now Abner the son of Ner, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon with the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, one on the one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 Then Abner said to Joab, ‘Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us.’ And Joab said, ‘Let them arise.’ 15 So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 Each one of them seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.” (2 Sam. 2:12-17). Joab was David’s nephew (1 Chr. 2:16). He likely was present with David during David’s prior battles. But he was not mentioned in 1 Samuel. Abner may have felt confident in his own military training that he could easily defeat Joab in a duel. But the Holy Spirit was with Abner and his men. Even though Abner was likely a more skilled warrior, the match was not an equal fight. The Spirit is stronger than the flesh when you have faith.

The Jews fought each other at the battle of Helkath-hazzurim5

  • Make no provision for the flesh in your life. Choosing the Spirit is just the first step in the spiritual warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. Like Abner, the flesh will look for every opportunity to wage war against your Spirit. Like Joab, you must be prepared to fight the desires of the unholy passions of the flesh: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (1 Pet. 2:11). “but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.” (Ro. 7:23). “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Ro. 13:14). “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24). You must take each thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). You must also renew your mind daily in this conflict (Ro. 12:1-2). Have you made any accommodation with unholy desires of the flesh?

6. Accountability: To Prevail in Spiritual Warfare, Don’t Forsake the Body. 2 Sam. 2:18-23.

  • Asahel pursues after Abner by himself and died in battle. After seeing Abner’s forces defeated in battle, Joab’s brother Asahel chased after Abner on his own. Yet, having acted on his own without seeking God’s guidance, he died at the hands of the more skilled warrior Abner: “18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel; and Asahel was as swift-footed as one of the gazelles which is in the field. 19 Asahel pursued Abner and did not turn to the right or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, ‘Is that you, Asahel?’ And he answered, ‘It is I.’ 21 So Abner said to him, ‘Turn to your right or to your left, and take hold of one of the young men for yourself, and take for yourself his spoil.’ But Asahel was not willing to turn aside from following him. 22 Abner repeated again to Asahel, ‘Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?’ 23 However, he refused to turn aside; therefore Abner struck him in the belly with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it came about that all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.” (2 Sam. 2:18-23). Like Joab, Asahel was David’s nephew. The mother of Joab and Asahel, Zeruiah, was David’s sister (1 Chr. 2:16). Asahel trusted in his own speed, not in the Lord. He also fought for his own glory, not the glory of the Lord. Thus, he faced a more superior soldier without God. Even though he fought on the right side, he was not invincible. He still needed to submit to God. Part of this includes acting within the protections of the Body of Christ.

Abner killed Asahel during the battle6

  • God has no lone rangers in His army. When you accept Jesus as your King, you become a soldier in His army. “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 2:3). Like an army, God expects His soldiers to fight together. Thus, unless God specifically directs you to fight alone (like David before Goliath), believers must not forsake the fellowship of other believers by trying to fight alone. “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25). Like Abner, Satan acts like a roaring lion. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8). Lions usually attack animals that stray from the protections of the herd. When Asahel trusted in his own strength and acted alone, he had no chance against Abner, the lion. Believers cannot claim to be accountable if they float in and out of a mega church or watch sermons online. Believers must also be accountable to a small group of believers. Are you in any type of small church group? Or, are you trying to be a lone ranger for Christ?

  • Don’t lean on your own understanding. Asahel also made the mistake of trusting in his own abilities instead of turning to God. Believers must be careful not to make the same mistake in spiritual warfare: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5; 28:26). Do you trust in yourself or in God?

Don’t try to fight your battles without God’s guidance7

7. Perseverance: Don’t Allow Setbacks to Cause You to Give Up. 2 Sam. 2:24-32.

  • Joab agreed to a peace treaty with Abner and a prolonged war. After witnessing the death of their brother, Joab and Abishai acted out of vengeance to kill Abner. Because they did not seek God’s will, they struggled and Abner was able to convince them to accept a temporary truce. This, however, allowed Israel’s civil war to continue on years longer than necessary: “24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and when the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which is in front of Giah by the way of the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one band, and they stood on the top of a certain hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, ‘Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitter in the end? How long will you refrain from telling the people to turn back from following their brothers?’ 27 Joab said, ‘As God lives, if you had not spoken, surely then the people would have gone away in the morning, each from following his brother.’ 28 So Joab blew the trumpet; and all the people halted and pursued Israel no longer, nor did they continue to fight anymore. 29 Abner and his men then went through the Arabah all that night; so they crossed the Jordan, walked all morning, and came to Mahanaim. 30 Then Joab returned from following Abner; when he had gathered all the people together, nineteen of David’s servants besides Asahel were missing. 31 But the servants of David had struck down many of Benjamin and Abner’s men, so that three hundred and sixty men died. 32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb which was in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men went all night until the day dawned at Hebron.” (2 Sam. 2:24-32). God was with Joab when he fought for the true anointed king, David. This was evident by the fact that he lost only 20 men. By contrast, Abner lost 360 men who were likely better trained and armed. Peace is normally a virtue. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9). But believers are also commanded not to accommodate the flesh (1 Pet. 2:11; Ro. 7:23; 13:14). When you accommodate your flesh, peace is illusory. Satan will quickly resume his war against your Spirit. The same was true with Abner. He grew weary after the death of his brother and agreed to a truce. Yet, this temporary truce merely caused more suffering.

  • Persevere in your faith. Joab should have consulted the Lord before he entered into any accord with Abner. He also should have persevered in the face of the loss of his brother. “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal. 6:9). “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” (2 Thess. 3:13). “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” (Matt. 10:22). Every believer will experience loss and setbacks because we live in a fallen world. Yet, you must never allow your setbacks to cause you to give up. Instead, you must persevere in your faith.

  • Patience is a form of perseverance. For years, David had to wait to become king as God molded him as a lowly servant within Saul’s court. He also suffered under Saul’s rule. He would now need to suffer further through additional civil conflict. Yet, God used his suffering to mold David for His greater glory: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (Is. 48:10; Ps. 66:10; Zech. 13:9(a); Dt. 8:2-3). Like David, God wants you to be patient because He has prepared great plans for you: “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” (Ps. 37:7). “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1(b)). “I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” (Ps. 130:5). Do you patiently wait until the Lord and His timing?

  • God will protect you when you do His will. You also never need to fear your enemies when you are doing God’s will. When the Jews walked with Him, He promised to cause their enemies to fear them: “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.” (Ex. 23:27). ‘“This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’” (Dt. 2:25). If you are serving God, do you trust Him to protect you? Is there any battle for God that you fear?