1The Philistines had brought their whole army to Aphek, while Israel's army was camping near Jezreel Spring. 2-3The Philistine rulers and their troops were marching past the Philistine army commanders in groups of 100 and 1,000. When David and his men marched by at the end with Achish, the commanders said, “What are these worthless Israelites doing here?”
“They are David's men,” Achish answered. “David used to be one of Saul's officers, but he left Saul and joined my army a long time ago. I've never had even one complaint about him.”
4The Philistine army commanders were angry and shouted:
Send David back to the town you gave him. We won't have him going into the battle with us. He could turn and fight against us! Saul would take David back as an officer if David brought him the heads of our soldiers. 5 The Israelites even dance and sing,
“Saul has killed
a thousand enemies;
David has killed
6Achish called David over and said:
I swear by the living Lord that you've been honest with me, and I want you to fight by my side. I don't think you've done anything wrong from the day you joined me until this very moment. But the other Philistine rulers don't want you to come along. 7Go on back home and try not to upset them.
8“But what have I done?” David asked. “Do you know of anything I've ever done that would keep me from fighting the enemies of my king?”
I believe that you're as good as an angel of God, but our army commanders have decided that you can't fight in this battle. 10You and your troops will have to go back to the town I gave you. Get up and leave tomorrow morning as soon as it's light. I'm pleased with you, so don't let any of this bother you.
11David and his men got up early in the morning and headed back toward Philistia, while the Philistines left for Jezreel.
God intervened in this difficult situation David found himself in. His only escape from Saul at the time was to join the Philistine army. God worked though Philistine commanders to urge King Achish to not let David and his army go into battle with them.
Was David a valued defector or a threat to the Philistine army from within? David did not want to fight against Israel. Associating with the Philistines was only a way to hide from Saul hunting him.
Fortunately for David, God made a way of escape for him. David was spared by divine providence from actually fighting against his own people. In the end, the Lord refused to let David go with the Philistines to battle. King Achish was pressured by his generals to dismiss David from the army.
Rest assured, God is no respecter of persons. Whatever distressing situation you’ve gotten yourself into, he can rescue you. We are saved by grace. Unmerited grace. We don’t deserve to be spared or set free from the sins we have committed.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Thank you for the unmerited grace you have given me through Jesus. Forgive me for thinking I am worthy enough to earn your favour by my perceived goodness. I recognize that any time you choose to rescue or bless me, it’s because of your grace and nothing I have done. Your grace is enough. Amen.