David is an Israelite, but he’s trying to make the Philistines think he is one of them, deception by pretending. Inside you’re a believer, but on the outside you want to look and act like the rest of the world.
1 Samuel 27:8, 9 –And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites… (Verse 9) Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep…
These were enemies of Israel, not the Philistines. Here’s the deception: In verse 11 when Achish would ask David where they raided that day David would be vague, he also lied. David would tell him that they raided against the southern area of Judah. He made it sound as if he were raiding and killing Israelites. David killed every male and female so that they couldn’t tell on him. I read nowhere that David asked God if that is what he should be doing.
Some of us forget this part of David’s life before he became king. Most only remember him marrying Bathsheba and having her husband killed.
I think God wanted us to know the good, the bad, and the ugly part of David, so we could learn from his mistakes. I also think God wants us to know He can use and turn anyone’s life around. Now back to David.
As David’s lifestyle changed, I believe he began to have inner turmoil, as we will when we start to backslide. We justify what we are doing.
At the beginning of chapter 29 in 1 Samuel, the Philistines are gathering their army to fight Saul and the Israelites. The princes of the Philistines were suspicious of David and didn’t want him or his men there. They confronted Achish and told him so.
In 1 Samuel 29:6-8 Achish tells David although he has been faithful and trusts him, he has to go. 1 Samuel 29:8, – Then David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
The scripture doesn’t even mention that by Achish telling David to go, that it was saving him from killing God’s people. But it is clear that God could not allow David to go with the Philistines because he probably would have been killed.
So David and his men rose up early the next morning and headed home to Ziklag. That was a 3-day journey. When they got there, they found the city burned to the ground. After all, all the men of fighting age were with David and there were no men to protect the city. Remember the raids David had gone on, killing the Amalekites? This is who had kidnapped their women and children – pay back (1 Samuel 30:1-4).
David and his men wept until they couldn’t cry anymore, then the men turned on David and wanted to stone him. This was his fault!
1 Samuel 30:6 – Then David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons, and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
Either now David is at a place where he jumps off into oblivion or he cries out to God. David went with God.
I’m sure we have all been in this place at one time or another in our Christian walk. Our situations may have not been this severe as having your town burned to the ground and your wife and children kidnapped, but it felt this bad. We begin to think back and ask ourselves, “When I was at that fork in the road, why didn’t I turn the other way?”
David had left God out of the equation for over a year and basically done what he wanted. He had gotten off track, but he’s about to get it right.
1 Samuel 30:8 – So David inquired of the Lord saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”
So David takes off with 600 men and come to the Brook Besor. Two hundred men stayed on one side of the brook because they were too weary to cross. David has 400 men with him and they ride on until they find a lone Egyptian lying sick in a field. He tells them he was with the Amalekites when they burned Ziklag. David and his men fed him and he regained his strength. Then the Egyptian took David to an overlook where they saw the Amalekites “partying down.”
1 Samuel 30: 17-19 – And David attacked them from twilight until evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except 400 men who rode on camels and fled. (Verse 19) And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.
David had to come to a place in his life that was so devastating he had nowhere to turn, but to the Lord. Our God wants us to know Him so well that we will never, ever, doubt that He won’t forgive and rescue us. God knows that we are going to get sidetracked occasionally. He also knows we get scared and fear will take hold. But, we have a promise that Jesus made, He will never leave us. Scripture says David had that same promise; His spirit would always be on him.
I don’t care how far you think you can run or how far you think you have sunk, listen for that still small voice, and let it become larger than life again! He loves you.