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1 Samuel 29

June 19, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Then Achish answered and said to David, 'I know that you are as good in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the princes of the Philistines have said: "He shall not go up..."'”

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1 Samuel 29

“Then Achish answered and said to David, ‘I know that you are as good in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the princes of the Philistines have said: “He shall not go up with us in battle.” Now therefore, rise early in the morning with your master’s servants who have come with you. As soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart.’ So David and his men rose early to depart in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.” 1 Samuel 29:9-11 (NKJV)

David’s original decision to go to the Philistines was ill-advised. It was understandable but not wise, explainable but not faithful. Everything was clicking along quite well for David until now, working for a Philistine boss and killing Philistines in his spare time. It reminds me of the saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But now David and his men find themselves in a tight spot, lined up to fight against Israel, the people whom God had anointed David to serve.

How will David, the “anointed” who “cannot not lay a hand against the Lord’s anointed” (Saul), get out of this one? The dialogue is almost comical. The deceived (Achish) defends his deceiver, and the relieved (David) disputes his relief!

Listen. Can you hear Him? God is almost silent. The only mention of Him is a throw-away line from the Philistine king. Yet, God is at work. He is delivering David from his stupid decisions, protecting the nation of Israel, preserving the integrity of Israel’s trust in their future King David, and silently protecting the birth-line of Messiah. The story is not a promise to us that He will not hold us accountable for (or deliver us from the consequences of) our faithless decisions. But it is proof that He is always with us, ultimately working out everything together for the good. For His good, which ultimately benefits us, too. (Romans 8:28)

Believers should take heart! We can all look back on the timeline of our lives and have no trouble picking out the occasion (or occasions) where we were depending on our own cleverness, sure of our ability to assess and handle our situations, confident we knew the right way. And it proved disastrous and nearly destroyed us. And we fear God’s mercy has withered. After all, OUR mercy would have withered! Then God shows up. And we, like David, learn how God’s “goodness and mercy pursue us all the days” of our lives. (Psalm 23:6a)

There is a striking contrast between the endings of chapters 28 and 29.

“Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she hastened to kill it. And she took flour and kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. So she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.” 1 Samuel 28:24-25 (NKJV)

Saul and his companions trudge off into the darkness without the Lord, while David rides away in the morning, knowing the experience of God’s mercy. (Psalm 30:5b)

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