I Samuel 27
I heard it in his voice.
Saul had no intentions of calling an end to his death ordered against me. How many times had he promised? How many times had he lied?
Do I regret not killing him when I had the chance? No. My devotion was to God first above any feelings I may have had. God appointed Saul king, which meant I had no right to change it.
Still...I had a responsibility to my men and their safety. And so, to honor the king who wished to kill me, yet keep my men safe, I chose to leave my home. My beloved city.
And live with the Philistines, where we'd find safety.
We broke camp and left for Gath, Goliath's home country. King Achish agreed to let me speak with him. "Thank you for allowing us to make homes in the royal city, but who are we but your humble servant? If I have found favor in your eyes, give us a place to live in some town in your country."
Achish seemed pleased with my idea and granted us the city of Ziklag to set up housing. We no longer had to hide in caves or brush. The 600 men who had traveled with me built homes for their families and I built a home for my wives, Abigail and Ahinoam. I had a feeling we would live there for a long time.
After settling in Ziklag, I sent a scout to check on Saul's whereabouts. "David, I have learned Saul's plans," the scout said when he returned. "Once he heard you were living in the land of the Philistines he called off the search."
At last. Maybe now he'll focus more on protecting the country than chasing me.
This doesn't mean I sat around and did nothing in Ziklag. I was a warrior, and my men soldiers. We had a duty to protect the land God gave our people. Once our families had homes we moved about the Promised Land raiding the inhabitants of the land from old. We struck any foreign people from north to south.
We raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites leaving no man or woman alive to tell the story. After each raid I showed king Achish the sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels, and clothing we brought back.
He seemed impressed and always asked, "So where did you raid today, David?"
I would answer: against the southern area of Judah or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the southern area of the Kenites. Since we spared no one from the cities we raided, Achish never found out what we really did. He thought we attacked Israelite cities to pay Saul back for attempting to kill me.
I heard Achish once say, "David has made his people, Israel, utterly hate him; therefore he will be my servant forever." In all that time he never figured out we fought all foreign nations in the Promised Land.
For one year and four months we followed the orders of a higher king than Achish, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, to protect and rid the Promised Land of their enemies.
1. Did David believe Saul's promise?
2. What did David do.
3. What did David ask of king Achish?
4. After settling in the city of Ziklag, what did David and his men set out to do?
5. What did king Achish believe?
6. Whose orders did David follow?
photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com