David marches into battle with King Achish against the Israelites. It seems that the circumstances around him are forcing David’s hand. He can no longer pretend to slay Israelites to stay alive, he must now kill some real ones.
However, God turns the table. As we read we know that it would be awful and shameful for David to kill Israelites, but God provides a way out. God is not explicitly mentioned, but we are meant to intuitively see his hand at work preserving his anointed one and keeping him for the work that God has in mind.
1 Samuel 29
1 The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?”
Achish replied, “Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? 5Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances:
“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”
6 So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the LORD lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. 7Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”
8“But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
9 Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’ 10Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave in the morning as soon as it is light.”
11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
- What crisis presents itself in this passage?
- How is it resolved?
- What do you think David’s attitude was?
- When have you found yourself with no seemingly good options?
- How can God use hard places like the one David found himself in?