I Samuel 28
Saul thought my men and I hid from him in the Philistines city of Ziklag. Achish, a Philistine king thought I raided Israelite cities for revenge. Both men wrong, both men mislead by my men and I that we might protect the Promised Land.
One day the Philistines gathered a huge army to fight the Israelites. Achish called me into his royal chambers and said, "Good to see you this morning, David. I've seen the work of you and your men. I'm planning on you going with us to battle against the Israelites."
This was not an invitation I expected from him. He didn't threaten me or force my men to fight with his army. No. For some strange reason, he believed I wanted to avenge myself and kill the Israelite king. He came up with the idea on his own.
I bowed and answered, "My lord, you know what your servant can do."
He clapped his hands together, quite pleased with himself. As far as he knew, an Israelite warrior agreed to fight for his side. "Perfect. I will make you one of my chief guardians forever."
All the Philistine armies gathered for the battle and made camp in Shunem. The next morning, Philistine princes inspected each army. My men and I stood in the last group with king Achish, guarding him as he asked.
The soldiers lined up at attention, proud, prepared for battle. The princes grunted or nodded as they walked past each man. Even though several princes did the inspection it took a long time before they reached Achish's army due to the large number of soldiers.
My men and I copied the stance of the Philistines around us. Still, no mater what we did, we didn't look like Philistines. Anyone could figure that out. The prince inspected the men before us then stopped. He came close to my eyes and grumbled. "What are these Hebrews doing here?"
"Don't worry, David, I'll handle this." Achish pushed his way toward the prince and bowed. "Can't you see this is David, the servant of Saul king of Israel? You know he's been with me for years. To this very day I have found no fault in him. You do know he defected to me." Achish laughed. "Their best fighter came over to our side."
The prince scowled. "How can you allow a Hebrew in this battle? I don't care if he defected. Get him and his men out of here and make them go back to the homes you gave them. The last thing we need is a Hebrew spy."
Achish scowled, practically moved his hands into a begging position. "No, he has proven himself. This a powerful warrior. We need him."
The prince lunged toward Achish, screaming. "And what will you do if David turns against us and takes our very heads back to Saul to restore his place in Israel? Isn't this the David the people sang:
'Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands?'
"No. I stand firm. He may not be a part of this battle."
Achish called me to his side. He had a fatherly sadness. "I'm sorry. You've been upright in your service to me. All you do is good in my sight. Since the day you came I haven't found evil in you. Nevertheless, the lords do not approve. You must return to your homes in peace. I can't afford to displease the lords of the Philistines."
I had no intention of getting my men or I killed fighting for the Philistines but I needed Achish to think I had been offended. I bowed my head. "What have I done? What have you found wrong in your servant that has prevented me from fighting against your enemies today?"
Achish paced a few steps. He seemed torn between the Philistine lord and me. "In my eyes you're as good as an angel of God, but I don't have the power to allow you to fight in this battle. The princes of the Philistines have said you can't go. Here, stay the night in the camp then pack and return to your homes in the morning."
God sent the Philistine lords to reject my men and I, and I'm glad. His order safely removed us from fighting with the Philistine army. Come back to read what happened next with this battle.
1. What did Saul think? Why had Saul tried to kill David?
2. What did Achish think? Who did Achish think David and his men raided?
3. What did Achish ask David to do?
4. Why did the prince get angry?
5. Why did Achish defend David?
Even in the eyes of the enemy, David showed his loyalty to God.