1 Samuel 21:10 – 22:1-4 Every Man & Woman A Rough Diamond
1 Samuel 21:10 – 22:1-4
10 So David escaped from Saul and went to King Achish of Gath. 11 But the officers of Achish were unhappy about his being there. “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” they asked. “Isn’t he the one the people honor with dances, singing, ‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 12 David heard these comments and was very afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. 13 So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard. 14 Finally, King Achish said to his men, “Must you bring me a madman? 15 We already have enough of them around here! Why should I let someone like this be my guest?”
1 So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming- men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented– until David was the captain of about 400 men.
3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold.
After parting ways with Jonathan, David seeks the help of Ahimelech and the king of Achish only to find himself in greater danger. He resorts to the stronghold of Adullam while he seeks divine directives. God gather derelict and delinquent men to David who shepherds them and they eventually become his mighty men of valor. In today’s passage, we see the importance of waiting on God, to hear His directives and not act in haste. We also learn that every person is a rough diamond that needs shepherding and polishing in order to fulfill their calling and potential.
Must you bring me a madman? – Indeed, this is David at the lowest point of his life forced to act like a madman in order to save himself. He went to Garth and is instantly recognized as the king of the land: “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” Although he deliberately put on an act of insanity, it contrasted with his kingly stature: “Must you bring me a madman? We already have enough of them around here!” While the officers of Achish were threatened by David’s presence, it shows just how dilapidated in appearance and hopeless David has become running from pole to pillar looking for a safe haven. Nevertheless, his acting has achieved its desired effect, and he extricates himself from a dangerous situation.
Then others began coming- men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented – David gives up looking for human assistance and resorts to the cave of Adullam. As expected Saul begins hunting down David’s relatives and soon they were gathered to David at the stronghold. Without David’s active initiation, other men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented were drawn to him until David was the captain of about 400 men. David has now in his possession a private army, enough to make raids and conduct skirmishes around the country.
Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me – David, in asking for help from the Moabite king, took advantage of the state of hostility between Saul and the Moabites. By putting his parents with the Moabite king, he mulls over God’s directive for him.
- When in trouble, do not look for recourse immediately, but ask God what He wants to do for you. When in trouble, it is human instinct to look up people whom we think could lend us immediate assistance and solve our problems. On the contrary, it could lead to more problems and disrupt the plans of God. Upon parting ways with Jonathan, David immediately went to Ahimelech the priest, which later brought demise to the whole priestly family. Then, he went to the king of Achish and had to back track by acting insane. When David finally realizes his folly, he resorts to the stronghold at Adullam where he seeks to understand God’s plans: until I know what God is going to do for me. The amazing plans of God kick into action bringing 400 men to his aid once David falls in line with God seeking Him in earnest and trusting Him to help. Therefore, believers must cultivate a mindset to hear God’s voice and receive his directives before putting our own plans into action. While panic and anxiety cause us to act irrationally, but the voice of God has a calming effective bringing wisdom and hope. A Chinese idiom says, “三思而后行” which means to consider three times before acting. Instead of back paddling and undoing one’s acts of haste, he would do well to yield not to his anxieties but to the Spirit of peace. Those who put their trust in God will be at peace regardless of the circumstances. Isaiah the prophet says,
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
- It is some times better to start with the untrained than to utilize those who are ready-made. Every person has a unique design with hidden treasures and potential. One only has to uncover the dirt that reveals the hidden beauty within. Organizations are inclined to utilize people who are ready to contribute because they could save on training resources. Organizations supposed that much time could be saved if the “newbies” could hit the ground running. However, those who are ready-made will also come with values that may be incoherent with the organization, and they tend not to stay with the organization in the longer term. On the other hand, those who are untrained have the potential to contribute far more to the organization in the longer term. Because they tend to be more teachable, they are also more likely to adopt the organization’s ethos and values systems. The 400 men who joined David at Adullam are described as: men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented. However, they eventually become the mighty men of David (see 2 Samuel 23:8-39). Mediocre men become mighty men when they are instilled with godly values and given the opportunity. Having said, the leader must possess the necessary character and mettle in order to build them up. The Psalmist writes concerning David,
“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.” Psalm 78:72.
- Do you have a tendency to become petrified and in need of immediate recourse when faced with problems? Jesus says, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). Therefore, we must not resort to the help of man where problems remain impossible to be solved but the help of God where all things become possible. Believers must cultivate the habit of listening to God’s voice on a daily basis and obey His instructions one day at a time.
- Are you accustomed to judging people by their appearance and competence rather than by their virtues of humility and teachability? While supervisors and mid-level management must be found competent in skillsets and processes, but higher level management must possess humility, loyalty, wisdom and integrity of heart. Hence, organizations must be careful to acquire competent people while not neglecting to train those who are slated to carry the organizations forward by their virtues and wisdom.
Dear Lord, give me a heart of quiet trust and peace as I depend on you in all circumstances. Give me discernment to identify those who are humble and called to greater things, and use me as an instrument to build them up. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.