1 Samuel 29:8-11
Verse 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?”
David doesn’t seem to know how to process what he is hearing. What could he have done to deserve this sudden change of plans? He had done nothing to the Philistine king and is upset at what this could all mean. If the king was willing to push him away because of what the rulers had said to him, then how could David be sure that he wouldn’t send him away with all of his men and their families?
David asks Achish what he has against David and the king can do nothing but back pedal and gives David some of the most flattering comments including that he is like an angel of God. Not bad coming from a man who was more into worshiping the false gods of his countrymen. But Achish doesn’t stop with the compliment, the philistine king continues with a command to do as he has been instructed to do and gives a timeframe of when it should happen. If David isn’t gone by morning, Achish can’t promise that he will be safe.
David once again shows his character and obeys the king. This obviously wasn’t what he wanted but he was submitting to his authority and was willing to look weak to his men. The 600 men would have also been battle ready and they had been gaining a lot of possessions in their recent conquests and they may have been enjoying the new way of gaining riches. To walk away from a battle and come home empty-handed wouldn’t have been easy.
What these men are all missing is the nation that they would be going up against. They have become so comfortable in their new location that they seem to have lost touch with their home nation. While some of David’s men were probably still on the run from various sources and David himself is still avoiding Saul, the last people they needed to go to war against was the nation of Israel.
The fact that they are being sent home is really God saving them from doing something they would regret. David had been so careful not to put King Saul’s life in jeopardy and yet that is exactly what he would have been doing if he had been part of the battle. It wasn’t about saving Saul’s life because Samuel had already prophesied about his death but none of the men from Israel would have any guilt in the matter. And that would matter in the future.
Making It Personal
Have you ever planned to do something but were unable to and it turned out for the better? Why do you think God protected you from the situation? How willing are you to look for ways that God is protecting you through His providence?
Making It Personal Kids
Have your mom and dad ever told you that you couldn’t do something that you wanted to do? Why do you think they told you no? If your parents told you no because they love you, do you think when Jesus says you can’t do something that it is because He loves you?
Father, thank You for working in our lives even when we don’t see how You are working. Help us be on the lookout for the things that reveal Your guidance in our lives and to obey quickly. In Jesus’ name, amen.