As chapter ten summarized the demise of Saul, so chapter 14 summarizes the success of David. In both chapters, God’s people are attacked by the Philistines. But under Saul, the Philistines are so successful they drive Israel from their land. In chapter 14, the Philistines are roundly defeated. In chapter ten, Saul’s house is destroyed, but in fourteen, David’s house is growing.
But the big difference between the two is in the action of the king and the action of God. Saul is specifically said not to have inquired of the Lord, and God does nothing for him. David, however, does inquire of the Lord – twice. The Lord responds. He ‘hands the Philistines over’ to David. He ‘breaks out’ against the enemies of David (overcomes them like a tidal wave). He ‘goes in front’ of David to strike the Philistine army and drives them from Israel (Gibeon) back to where they came from (the border town of Gezer). The Lord establishes David’s kingdom and makes all the nations respect him.
Chapter fourteen is a reminder of what God can accomplish for us if we take the time to pray, asking His advice, seeking His counsel, and then yielding ourselves to His will.