Asking for someone’s advice doesn’t mean you don’t know what to do. One of the reasons it’s a good idea to ask someone for his opinion is so that you will know whether or not you are in agreement about what you are about to do. “David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you…let us bring again the ark of our God to us” (1 Chronicles 13:1,3).
When the Philistines came looking for David after he had been anointed king over all Israel, David could have gathered his troops and immediately went into battle, but instead, “David inquired of God” (1 Chronicles 14:10). David could have assumed that because the Philistines were Israel’s enemy and they were preparing for an attack that he needed to defend himself, but he asked the LORD, “Shall I go up against the Philistines?” (1 Chronicles 14:10).
Sometimes it seems so obvious what we need to do that we don’t want to take the time to ask for confirmation. David knew the Philistines would come after him one way or another. His instinct to fight was what the Philistines were hoping for. They wanted to catch him off guard and intimidate him into fighting on their terms. “And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand” (1 Chronicles 14:10).
David achieved a great victory, but the Philistine army was able to mount a second attack. “Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees” (1 Chronicles 14:14). David demonstrated that he was depending on the LORD for guidance. No matter what he planned to do, David checked it out with the LORD first.
David’s second inquiry showed that his relationship with the LORD was more than superficial. David trusted in the LORD beyond what would normally have been expected. David knew that every action had a consequence and he did not want to risk making a mistake.
David therefore did as God commanded him; and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer. And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations. (1 Chronicles 14:16-17)