Wednesday, April 11, 2012

David-Crazy Man Who Saved His Men

By Mary Vee
I Samuel 21

David's Thoughts

Hiding from King Saul took a lot of work. Well, to hide from one man is not work, but to hide from every loyalist or bounty hunter meant watching any movement or shadow anywhere I went.

I led the men who followed me from Nob, a city not far from King Saul's palace, southwest, toward the Great Sea. We came to the Philistine city of Gath and hoped to hide there.

We hurried into the city and breathed a sigh of relief, until one the king's servants spotted us and took us to the royal court. King Achish greeted us. 

It seemed safe to ask his permission to stay in Gath...until a servant spoke up. "Isn't this David, the king of the land? The Israelites sing and dance to these words: Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."

Poof. Just like that, King Achish's face turned from welcoming us to anger. What if he ordered all of us killed? Sweat poured down my neck and my eyes flickered about looking for any exit. What could I do? What could save the men who came with me?

A crazy idea popped in my head. If I acted like an insane man, Achish would hate the horrid sight and order me out of his court right away. Should I? Hmmm. 

The king raised his hand, ready to make a command. I needed to act fast.

I forced my eyes to grow wide like a madman and let my hands shake as if I couldn't control them. I looked down at my hands as if they'd become some strange thing hooked on the end of my arms. What were these things? From the look on the king's face my plan had worked thus far. 

I hobbled to the gate, pretending not to know how to use my legs. I curved my fingers against the gate and dragged my nails along the surface. Faster and faster I scratched wildly with both hands. My ears begged me to stop, but I refused, for the sake of my men.

I worked up a mouth full of spit and let it drool down on my beard and scratched some more on the gate. I added grunting sounds and flicked my head to the left and right. 

Achish pointed at me but yelled at his servants. "Look, you see the man is insane. why did you bring him to me? Do you really think I needed a madman in my court bad enough for you to find this fellow to play the part in my presence? Do you expect me to let this man into my house? What's the matter with you?"

The servants bowed to the king then ran toward me. They grabbed my arms and dragged me and my men out of the city. They threw me to the ground and shouted, "Stay away. We don't need madmen here!"

I led my men to a nearby wood to rest. I plopped on the ground and shook my head in disbelief. "I hope I never have to do that again." Everyone with me laughed and joked about the madman.

During this time God gave me two psalms for comfort. Maybe they will comfort you when trouble or scary times come:

Prayer for Relief from Tormentors
To the Chief Musician A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.

Psalm 56
Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
All day they twist my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather together,
They hide, they mark my steps,
When they lie in wait for my life.
Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
10 In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God;
I will render praises to You,
13 For You have delivered my soul from death.
Have You not kept my feet from falling,
That I may walk before God
In the light of the living?

A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

Psalm 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel[a] of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
Psalms taken from NKJV. Photo courtesy of

1. Who was David hiding from?
2. After he went to Nob where did he go?
3. What people lived there?
4. What did the servants tell the king about David?
5. What did David think the king would do?
6. How did David solve the problem. Describe what he did.
7. David could have signaled his men to fight, he could have done many other things as well. Do you think any other idea would have worked in this situation? Who do you think gave him the idea?

1 comment:

  1. Great attempt to portray the mind of David showing concern for his men while using his considerable skills for escaping from difficult circumstances. I love the connection to the Psalms. They portray an inner trust in God which brings us to a deeper appreciation of what is needed to navigate the spiritual struggles which envelop us. Thanks for your efforts!


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