Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 5

Listen for the sound of God’s army

2 Samuel 5:22-25

This was the second battle at Rephaim. Philistia’s soldiers who ran away from the first battle, tried again to attack Jerusalem. Again, they reached the valley called Rephaim, close to Jerusalem. Again, David prayed. However, on this occasion, God gave him a different answer.

At the first battle, God told David to send his soldiers at once, to make a sudden, direct attack on the enemy. So Philistia’s soldiers ran away quickly. Most of them saved their lives, but they lost their idols, the images of their false gods. They saw that those false gods could not protect them. However, they had not learned that they must not oppose the real God. So, they were trying again.

On this second occasion, God told David not to make a direct attack. David must tell his soldiers to hide in the forest that was behind the enemy’s army. There, they must wait for the sound of another army which was coming to help them.

That other army was the army of God’s angels, his special servants from heaven (Genesis 32:2-3; 2 Kings 6:9-17). A battle was happening in the spirit world (Daniel 10:12-13). The result of that battle in Rephaim depended upon that battle in the spirit world. God would allow Israel’s soldiers to hear when the army from heaven was ready; and then, Israel’s soldiers should attack quickly.

Philistia’s army was not ready for a sudden attack from behind. Again, they tried to run away, but Israel’s soldiers were now behind them. So, Philistia’s army suffered a terrible defeat in this second battle, and many of their soldiers died.

Next part: David's great procession for the ark of the covenant (2 Samuel 6:1)


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