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2 Samuel 5:22-23 -

( 1 Chronicles 14:13 , 1 Chronicles 14:14 ). ( THE VALLEY OF REPHAIM .)

Renewed conflict.

1 . The life of a godly man on earth is a warfare which is perpetually renewed. Hardly has one conflict been passed through before another awaits him with old or new and more formidable foes: the world, the flesh, the devil; ignorance, idolatries, oppressions, sin and misery of all kinds ( 1 Samuel 17:1-11 ). Yea, each day the "good warfare" begins afresh. "The approach of duty is as a battlefield" (Essenian maxim). "On awaking in the morning, the first thing to be observed by thine inward sight is the listed field in which thou art enclosed; the law of the combat being that he who fights not must there lie dead forever" (Scupeli).

2 . Signal success in one conflict does not ensure the like in the next; and it ought, therefore, to be always associated with humility, watchfulness, and prayer; from lack of which many a victory has been turned into a defeat, it was a motto of King Alfred ("Si modo victor eras," etc.) ―

"If today thou be conqueror, beware of the fight of tomorrow;

If today thou be conquered, prepare for the fight of tomorrow."

3. One victory affords ground for the confident expectation of another, when the latter is looked for in the same spirit as the former, with dependence on the strength of God, submission to his will, devotion to his glory and the good of his people. "David inquired of the Lord again."

4 . The special means to be employed in every new conflict must be adapted to the special circumstances of the case; and both the wisdom to perceive them and the might to make them effectual are from the Lord. "Thou shalt not go up" (directly, in front of them, as in the former conflict, and as he was about to do again); "go round about them to their rear, and come upon them opposite the mulberry trees" (a spot, probably well known to David and his men, where a cluster or grove of baca trees would favour their attack), etc. "The words teach us that in our own strength, and merely with the human weapons of reason and science, we are not to make war against the adversary. Success can only be calculated upon when the conflict is undertaken under the influence of the Holy Spirit of God breathed forth, and in the immediate blessed experience of the gracious presence of the Lord and of the truth of his Word" (Krummacher).—D.

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