Posted by: pollyw | August 18, 2010

Marching in the tops of trees

Wow! I never suspected that summer would mean taking such a long break from my blog.

Throughout the summer, I have been hanging out in Kings and now I am in 1 Chronicles. This morning I got to go out to battle with King David. The coolest part of it was that he knew it wasn’t his battle.  David knew the commander in chief of his army was the Lord.

So, he checked in with the Lord before the first big battle and the Lord said, “Go, I will hand them over to you.”  Later, along came another battle and instead of just operating on the same message he had gotten earlier, David checked in with the Lord again.

This time, the Lord still said to go fight, but He gave David some very distinct directions to follow to win the battle.  Here’s how it goes (1 Chronicles 14:13-16 from

 13 Once more the Philistines raided the valley; 14 so David inquired of God again, and God answered him, “Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. 15 As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle, because that will mean God has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.” 16 So David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army, all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.

How cool is that?  God gave him exact instructions.  Instructions that might not have been easy to follow for a warrior who wants to get on with a battle.  He had to wait on the Lord.  That’s it…wait. 

When I read this, it makes me wonder how David heard God say this.  I mean these are pretty direct instructions.  Not just a feeling.  Did he actually hear His voice?  Did God tell him in a dream?  However the Lord let him know, he had to have faith that the sound of marching in the Balsam trees would occur, or they might have been sitting ducks out there for the Philistines. 

And, did he have to convince his soldiers that this was God’s plan, or did they just work blindly on his orders, and think he had gone a little over the edge?

I tell you, we serve a God who has a plan for us.  I’m praying that I remember to turn my battles over to Him on a daily basis and that I will have ears to hear Him marching in the tops of the Balsam trees of my life as He goes out in front of me as my defender and protector. 

He doesn’t want us to be alone in these battles, but wants us to realize the offer He makes to us as our protector is real.  It’s not just a story, it’s a reality that can belong to all of us as we trust Jesus with our lives. 

Today, let’s all think of some battles we have been trying, in vain, to fight on our own and check in with the battle plan the Lord has for us. 

If you get a chance, let me know how you see Him fighting for you this week.


  1. I’m not particularly battling anything right now, but I can’t help but wonder about the whole communication thing. Hearing the specifics on how to go to battle is the same as hearing the specifics on how we’re to live our lives. So how did David hear? The fact I’m asking may mean I’m not doing what I should be doing. The other thought that occurs to me is that it’s an “Old Testament” kind of thing. God seems to have communicated more directly to His people in the Old Testament, so maybe He did talk to David directly, whereas we have the New Testament and faith that Jesus is in charge to go by. However, this is the rabbit trail. I do like being reminded that when there are battles, God is either the one who fights them or He gives the directions as to the best way to fight; either way, He is in charge and we aren’t going it alone. What a relief! Praise His Name!


  2. Good to hear from you again, Polly. Wow, He has been fighting for me…definitely! I think we can all use this reminder on a daily basis.


    • Hey Lisa! It’s definitely something I need to be reminded of. Thanks for commenting!


  3. I like it that He’s in charge, too, Paulina! In fact, those are the Bible verses I am always drawn to, the ones where He says He is our protector and defender.

    Thanks for the comment!


  4. Polly,
    what a good reminder that is for me as we are in the midst of some things that we have no control over-that the battle belongs to the Lord. I sometimes forget that and try to do it in my own strength and end up stressed and sleepless! I also love the verses–there are alot–where God speaks of being our protector, provider, defender. That is where my trust and hope lays. Thank you Jesus we can turn it over to you if we choose-and I do! One of my favorites is Isaiah 12:2–“Indeed, God is my salvation. I will trust him and not be afraid.”


    • What a great verse from Isaiah, Mary. That sounds like a good verse for me to memorize! Thanks for sharing it.


      • You are so welcome–it is one I have memorized and sadly I do look for the short and powerful ones cause that is all my brain can handle these days!


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