But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”
2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. 3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. 4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
5 Then David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?”
6 So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.
8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.)9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.”11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. 12 Achish trusted David and said to himself, “He has become so obnoxious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant for life.”
Just when you think David has got his relationship with God sorted, he goes and does this. What on earth was he thinking? I think that we must not get caught in the belief that because this is captured in scripture that David is doing what God wants. This is one of those places (as always) where the lens of Jesus (his life and teaching) needs to guide how we read the story.
Up to this point God has very clearly been guiding and protecting David. David killed a lion and a bear, he was victorious in his battle against Goliath and has managed to outwit Saul at every turn. The last encounter with Saul, David is offered his place back but David decides instead to go over to the Philistines. It is as if David does not trust that God will protect him. When speaking to Saul, David says this…They have driven me today from my share in the Lord’s inheritance and have said, ‘Go, serve other gods.’
What we can learn from this is that David gives the control of his life to other people…they have driven me to serve other gods…they have removed me from the Lords inheritance. As a result he moves to another land and lives a life that is affected by other people’s motives. It is as if David is not making choices for himself (from the place of knowing Gods heart) and so is living out the consequences of other people’s choices. It looks like David is a completely different person, killing innocent people, lying, stealing… Nobody is responsible for the choices we make but us, if we blame our choices on our circumstances then we live in bondage to the world (people) around us, we are no longer free to live and respond to the Holy Spirit because we have given that role to others. If we choose to be a victim in life then we seldom feel like we are responsible for the choices we make because they are always somebody else’s fault. This may be helpful to reflect on in our own lives. Have a great day.