1 Samuel 28:1-2, 29:1-11 Trust is Letting God Lead By the Minute

1 Samuel 28:1-2, 29:1-11

1 About that time the Philistines mustered their armies for another war with Israel. King Achish told David, “You and your men will be expected to join me in battle.” 2 “Very well!” David agreed. “Now you will see for yourself what we can do.” Then Achish told David, “I will make you my personal bodyguard for life.”

1 The entire Philistine army now mobilized at Aphek, and the Israelites camped at the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers were leading out their troops in groups of hundreds and thousands, David and his men marched at the rear with King Achish. 3 But the Philistine commanders demanded, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish told them, “This is David, the servant of King Saul of Israel. He’s been with me for years, and I’ve never found a single fault in him from the day he arrived until today.” 4 But the Philistine commanders were angry. “Send him back to the town you’ve given him!” they demanded. “He can’t go into the battle with us. What if he turns against us in battle and becomes our adversary? Is there any better way for him to reconcile himself with his master than by handing our heads over to him? 5 Isn’t this the same David about whom the women of Israel sing in their dances,

‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”

6 So Achish finally summoned David and said to him, “I swear by the Lord that you have been a trustworthy ally. I think you should go with me into battle, for I’ve never found a single flaw in you from the day you arrived until today. But the other Philistine rulers won’t hear of it. 7 Please don’t upset them, but go back quietly.” 8 “What have I done to deserve this treatment?” David demanded. “What have you ever found in your servant, that I can’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 But Achish insisted, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re as perfect as an angel of God. But the Philistine commanders are afraid to have you with them in the battle. 10 Now get up early in the morning, and leave with your men as soon as it gets light.” 11 So David and his men headed back into the land of the Philistines, while the Philistine army went on to Jezreel.

Background

Once again Israel and the Philistines are about to enter into another massive battle. David’s worst fear has come when Achish requests him to fight alongside the Philistines against Israel. An offer he cannot refuse unless he wants his cover blown. God’s intervention comes by way of the other Philistine commanders who outvoted Achish against letting David join them in battle. Today’s episode teaches us to live by the minute trusting God to lead us to safety. It also teaches us never to let the voice of our desire overwrite the voice of the Spirit.

Observation

You and your men will be expected to join me in battle – The day came when the Philistines plan another massive assault against Israel. The result, of course, is that David finds himself in a most compromising position, for he would now be called on to demonstrate his loyalty to his new lord by fighting against his own people. When Achish who is blinded by David’s charm asked him to join in battle, David agrees enthusiastically without hesitation. It is hard to guess at this point what David’s game plan is. For he is forced into a position where he is either to express total loyalty or be exposed as a traitor to his new alliance. Perhaps, David is taking this on a moment-by-moment basis trusting God to provide a way out for him. Achish’s sense of discernment is deplorable when he suggests making David his personal bodyguard for life.

What are these Hebrews doing here? – Unless Achish has distinguished himself as being naïve, the other Philistine commanders are not so easily convinced by David’s purported loyalty. When Achish is outvoted by the other commanders, he apologetically rejected David which saves his day because of their intervention. If David had gone into battle with the Philistines that resulted in Saul’s defeat, the course of Israelite history would have been affected and his loyalty towards Israel questioned.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re as perfect as an angel of God – David, a seasoned actor when asked to return plays along taking every opportunity to reinforce his cover: What have I done to deserve this treatment?… What have you ever found in your servant, that I can’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king? Achish’s response is equally dramatic employing Israelite terminologies of angels to denote flawlessness.

Truth

  1. It is impossible to have a strong and enduring partnership with those who are opposed to God and His ideals. Be it a business or marital relationship where ideals concerning God differ, there will come a time when one partner has to choose between the ideals of God and ideals of men. Especially, when the relationship undergoes the stress of life, the cracks of disagreement will start to show. Hence, it is absolutely important to ascertain the values system and vision of your partner before entrusting yourself to the relationship. The ways of the natural man is always tangential to the ways of God. Prophet Amos says, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Amos 3:3. David is allied with Achish only for a limited time because their life directions and ideals are different; David is after God’s heart, whereas Achish is after his own passions. Many in their business partnerships lost precious resources and yet many more have their marriages broken up because they missed out on this very important principle.
  2. There are times that we must undertake to live by the minute trusting God to lead. There are times when we can barely see a few steps ahead, and the future is shrouded with uncertainties and pitfalls. It is like driving against traffic where there is no time to think, and gut instincts take over. Because God knows all things and He determines the end from the beginning, we can certainly trust Him to lead. David is caught in a situation where he cannot reject an invitation to fight along side with the enemy without blowing his cover. Hence, he has to appear totally committed to the course while trusting God’s providence to provide a way of escape. As long as our heart is after God, our future remains firmly secured in God’s hands and nothing can happen to us. Therefore, when we can barely see what is ahead, continue to press forward, as the Red Sea opens up to Moses, a path shall be laid up for you.
  3. We lose the power to discern when our fleshly desires speaks louder than our spirit – Our heart’s desire has a tendency to overshadow the voice of the Spirit, unless we put our desires on hold long enough to receive the Spirit’s revelations. The heart has an uncanny ability to overwrite the most obvious signs of trouble. It is intriguing how the Philistine commanders can differ from Achish by a mile concerning David’s loyalty. Achish is either an eternal optimist or utterly foolish. He is most probably mesmerize by the idea of possessing a super bodyguard, that he would not listen to his naysayers or do his due diligence to verify David’s stories concerning his raids. Many, captivated by the prospect of huge profits, are blinded by greed, refusing to heed the voice of prudence and logic. Consequently, they suffer huge losses, because their heart’s desires overshadow their inner voice of wisdom. We must never allow the voice of greed and the prospect of sudden windfalls to cloud our common sense and wisdom. The route to success is paved by a series of consistent decisions that are based on God’s principles of abundant living. However, it only takes one foolish act to in one fell swoop destroy all the good that we have done.

Applications

  1. Do you have a business partner or marital partner who is not wholly after God? God is merciful to forgive our sins if we repent of our folly. He has plans to turn around the situation that you are in. Learn to make important decisions not by the urge of our desires, but through submitting to God, we will know His will.
  2. Do you have the tendency to want to be in control and know everything before you act? Sometimes God leads us into situations that demand our absolute trust in Him. Therefore, learn to discern God’s voice while living by the minute trusting in His ability to make your way smooth.

Dear Lord, keep my heart from yielding to the desires of my flesh, let the voice of truth rings clearly and I will obey your will. Give me wisdom to discern people so that I may acquire the right partners in my work and relationships. Help me live each moment without worrying about the future and trusting you to lead. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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