Security vs. InsecurityDecember 1, 2023
Understanding SufferingDecember 1, 2023
With a kill order on David’s life, he became a fugitive from Saul. It had taken some time for this to sink in for David because Saul was a strange guy. Did he really want to kill his son-in-law and his best commander, who had achieved remarkable success against his enemies? Yes! Saul wanted David dead. David felt Saul’s presence looking for him no matter where he went, so he decided to leave his country.
The recklessness of this move into enemy territory demonstrates that He feared Saul more than the Philistines! David fled to Gath, the very city from which Goliath was from. Indeed, Saul would not look for him there. What was David thinking? David had been fighting the Philistines and became known as a fearless fighter.
David seriously underestimated the possibility of being known in Gath. His attempt to hide failed. He was recognized and captured almost immediately by Achish’s men and reported to the Philistine king. They asked Achish, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? The writer of first Samuel records, “David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath” (1 Sam 21:11-12).
Sometime later, David wrote Psalm 56, which records his thoughts and feelings during this time.
Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. (Ps 56:1-2)
All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. (Ps 56:5-6)
David’s escape from Achish was a matter of daring wit and cunning.
David was as good as dead, captured by the Philistines and standing before the king. David immediately pretended to be insane; he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors and letting saliva run down his beard (1 Sam 21:13). It was a hysterical act of scraping the door with his nails and teeth. However, the king saw no threat in this man and instead felt disgust and pity, and they let him go.
David gave God the credit for delivering him from certain death: “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life (Ps 56:13).