We left off in part 15 when Abigail accepts David’s proposal. However, before David leaves town he also takes one more wife, Ahinoam of Jezreel. Saul had given his first wife, Michal, to another. (That’s trouble, right there.)
Before we start into chapter 27 of 1 Samuel, David is about to start a downward spiral into a pit. In this chapter, he doesn’t pray or talk to God; he doesn’t write any psalms either. David’s biggest mistake that we will see is he didn’t ask of God before making a decision, he only reasoned in his own heart.
1 Samuel 27:1 – And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”
This is pessimistic reasoning – “I will perish.” Pessimistic reasoning continues focusing on the downside of the future, and prompts worry. A pessimist always sees the future as bleak.
Had not Samuel anointed him as the next king of Israel. Had Abigail not prophesied about when he would be king? Had not Jonathan assured him. So why was David now, ignoring the promises from God?
Pessimist’s eyes are on self! Pessimist’s thoughts are carnal. “Times are hard, God has deserted me.” “I’ll do what I think best, even if it’s wrong.” This is where David is, in his thinking. He was a believer on the inside but chose to disobey God and operate in the flesh. I think David was tired of running from Saul and thought it would never be over.
Can you relate to this, having to deal with the same problem year after year, and every morning, it’s still there. Let’s see what David does next.
1 Samuel 27:2, 3 – Then David arose and went over with six hundred men who were with him to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. (Verse 3) So David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives…
If we think we can compromise and it won’t affect our family and those around us, we need to think again. David didn’t go to Gath, where Goliath was from by himself, he took both his wives, and 600 men and they took their wives and household members.
All these people knew David. They had watched him in battle and he had always inquired of God and made wise decisions. Now they are going to live among the enemy of Israel. What’s up David?
I’ve told people for years, “If you lose your testimony in front of others, you may never gain their trust again.” You especially will lose the ones you are trying to influence for the kingdom. That’s why I won’t compromise even if it hurts others feelings. Some say I’m stubborn, well ya, I am.
1 Samuel 27:4 – And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no more.
Saul wasn’t going to go after David anymore. That gave David a false sense of security. Sin has its temporary pleasures. There will be times when we relax and enjoy disobedience because of those pleasures, but they are short-lived. Watch out, destruction is just around the corner. I know this from my own experience, so I feel qualified to give a strong warning – don’t compromise, even for a little while or in something small.
We can relate to what David is doing in this chapter to what we call today as “Backsliding!”
1 Samuel 27:5 – Then David said to Achish, “If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country that I may dwell there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”
Then Achish gave David Ziklag to live in. Notice that David called himself servant to Achish. When we choose a disobedient lifestyle and start making decisions according to our flesh and not our spirit, we end up submitting to the enemies cause, just as David did. We’re told in verses 6 and 7 that David lived there a year and four months.
Living among the disobedient will rub off. When Abraham and Lot went their separate ways because their families grew too big to be together, Lot chose to go to Sodom. At first, he pitched his tent nearby, but before long was living in the city. Eventually, Lot became one of the elders who sat at the city gate. We all know what happened to Sodom. You cannot have a little bit of Jesus and a little bit of the old life. Before long, you will revert back to your old ways.
David stays in Gath sixteen months. Not one psalm was written during his stay.
David takes his men and goes out on raids. He raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. They killed all the men and women, but took away the sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, and their apparel, and returned to Achish (1 Samuel 27:8, 9). Not once did David inquire of the Lord. He ended up doing the kings bidding. And because of David’s actions, Achish thought David was totally devoted to him and would be, forever (1 Samuel 27:12).