Summary: David made a foolish decision when he chose to go to the Philistines rather than return to Israel. The impact opf that decision is explored in this sermon.

WHEN SMART PEOPLE MAKE FOOLISH DECISIONS

1 Samuel 29:1--30:5

1 Then the Philistines gathered together all their armies at Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by a fountain which is in Jezreel.

2And the lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds and by thousands, but David and his men passed in review at the rear with Achish. 3Then the princes of the Philistines said, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" And Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, "Is this not David, the servant of Saul king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And to this day I have found no fault in him since he defected to me." 4But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; so the princes of the Philistines said to him, "Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men?

5Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying:

'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands'?"

6Then Achish called David and said to him, "Surely, as the LORD lives, you

have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the

army is good in my sight. For to this day I have not found evil in you since

the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you.

7Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords

of the Philistines."

8So David said to Achish, "But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"

9Then 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 to the battle.'

10Now therefore, rise early in the morning with your master's servants who have come with you. And as soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart."

11So 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 30:1-5 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire,

2and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

5And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.

Today our series of sermons on the Life of David continues.

Most of 1 Samuel Chapter 28

deals with King Saul's encounter with the Witch of Endor.

We will skip that in our examination of David's life.

Here in 1 Samuel chapter 29

David manages to get himself into a bad situation.

Here's a quick review of what we covered last Sunday.

David gets tired of living like a fugitive.

He runs away from King Saul to the land of the Philistines.

David thinks that once Saul learns where he is,

he will give up his pursuit.

David and his 600 men, accompanied by their wives and children,

take refuge in the land of the Philistines.

David persuades the Philistine king Achish,

to allow them to settle in the city of Ziklag.

From there, David stages raids against the enemies of Israel.

In each case, David deceives Achish by telling him

that he has just raided another one of the Israelite villages or cities

To prevent King Achish from hearing what really happened,

David kills off every person, leaving no survivors.

David shares some of the spoils of war with King Achish

while also taking a share to his Israelite brethren.

David seems to be getting away with his deception.

Suddenly things take an unexpected turn.

King Achish tells David that the Philistine commanders

are joining forces to stage a massive attack against Israel.

He tells David that he and his 600 men

are going to fighting for him.

Achish believes David will fight valiantly for the Philistines.

David promises to show Achish his full capabilities

as he goes to battle with him.

Achish responds to David's assurances

by naming him as a lifetime personal bodyguard.

David has gotten himself into a bad situation.

There seems to be no way out for David and his men.

If David truly fights for Achish, with the rest of the Philistines,

he will be fighting against his own people , the Israelites.

If David does not fight with the Philistines,

he will almost certainly have to turn against them in battle.

What should David do?

Point #1. It's easy to get ourselves into a mess.

1 Then the Philistines gathered together all their armies at Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by a fountain which is in Jezreel. 2 And the lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds and by thousands, but David and his men passed in review at the rear with Achish.

The Philistines have chosen Aphek

as a gathering point for the consolidation of their armies

in preparation for their attack on Israel.

King Achish is the commander of the troops.

The troops are passing by their commanders in review,

by hundreds and thousands.

3 Then the princes of the Philistines said, "What are these Hebrews doing here?" And Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, "Is this not David, the servant of Saul king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And to this day I have found no fault in him since he defected to me."

The Philistine commanders are furious by what they see.

Marching at the rear of the entire Philistine army

is none other than David and his men.

This is a very important position.

An opposing army could try to flank them

and then attack them from behind.

The commanders cannot understand

how Achish could be so naive

as to take David into battle with them,

and place him in a very important position.

They quickly question Achish's wisdom.

What in the world are David and his 600 Hebrew warriors

doing in the Philistine army?

King Achish sees things differently.

He sees David as a turncoat,

a man who is faithful to him rather than to Israel.

It appears that David has indeed changed sides?

David is now one of them.

Does that change the minds of these upset commanders?

4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; so the princes of the Philistines said to him, "Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men? 5 Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying: 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands'?"

The commanders are not impressed.

The answer Achish gives them makes them even more angry.

How can this man be so taken in by David?

How can he be so stupid?

David is a Hebrew.

Has Achish forgotten David's military genius and skills?

They remind him of the song of praise sung by Hebrew people:

'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands'?"

The commanders do not give Achish any choice.

They instruct Achish to send David back to Ziklag.

He is not going to battle with them!

Point #2. God can provide a way to get us out of our messes.

6 Then Achish called David and said to him, "Surely, as the LORD lives, you

have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the

army is good in my sight. For to this day I have not found evil in you since

the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you.

7 Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the

lords of the Philistines."

Achish gives in to the wishes of his commanders.

He tells David that he must go home to Ziklag.

8 So David said to Achish, "But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"

It would be easy to think David is telling Achish the truth here.

However, we know that he's been conducting raids

against allies of the Philistines.

So clearly David is still trying to deceive Achish.

9 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 to the battle.' 10 Now

therefore, rise early in the morning with your master's servants who have

come with you. And as soon as you are up early in the morning and have

light, depart." 11 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.

The minds of these Philistine commanders cannot be changed.

David must return to Ziklag in the morning.

Early the next morning, the Philistines set out for Jezreel,

where the Israelites are camped.

David heads back to Ziklag.

David and his men must have felt relieved

as they left the Philistines and headed home to Ziklag.

King Achish still thinks highly of David.

They do not have to do battle with their fellow-Israelites.

Neither do they have to turn against the Philistines.

They have been rescued from a bad situation.

No lives have been lost in battle.

All they have to do is to return to Ziklag

and enjoy spending a little time with their families.

Point #3. Trouble can come from where and when we least expect it.

1 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David's two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.

While David and his men are with Achish at Aphek,

the Amalekites have attacked Ziklag.

David's raids conducted while based at Ziklag,

were against the enemies of Israel,

which included the Amalekites.

It's likely the Amalekites conducted this raid in retaliation.

The Amalekites take advantage

of David and his 600 soldiers being with the Philistines

and attack virtually defenseless Ziklag.

As David and his men enter Ziklag,

they are horrified by what they see

The city is a disaster, burned to the ground.

There is absolutely no sign of life.

There any no dead bodies lying around.

David's 2 wives have been taken,

and so have all the families of his men.

The men are grief-stricken.

They all weep until they have no strength left to continue.

This is not a pretty sight.

That's where we will leave the story this morning.

What can we learn from today's Bible story?

Lesson #1 Consequences of foolish decisions are often delayed, but inevitable.

A very bad decision on David's part made over a year before

resulted in a disaster.

It was his decision to leave the land of Israel

and run to Achish in the land of the Philistines for safety.

The immediate outcome seemed favorable.

David and his men were able to be with their families.

They lived comfortably

while raiding and plundering their enemies.

They even won the favor of many of their fellow-Israelites.

Then, as always, the consequences of sin begin to appear.

David became too popular with Achish.

David becomes the bodyguard of a Philistine king

and a leader of 600 in the Philistine army.

Now he is obligated to wage war against the people of Israel.

David's escape to the Philistines,

which was intended to "save" his men and their families,

has now brought about their captivity by a raiding party.

Second lesson: The consequences of our foolish decisions extend beyond ourselves, and often cause pain and suffering to those we love most.

David thought he was doing what was best for his family

by taking them to the land of the Philistines.

But doing so, which was wrong for him,

was also wrong for his family.

Those family members held captive must have felt traumatized!

That is the way foolish decisions work out.

Not only does it have painful consequences for the foolish person,

it also adversely impacts many others.

Among these "others" are those we may love the most.

When a husband or a wife chooses to forsake their marriage vows,

they cause great suffering for their mate and their family as well.

Closing

The mess David found himself in

was the result of a foolish decision he made.

He ran to the Philistines, the enemy of God.

Regardless of how smart we may be,

we are still capable of making foolish decisions.

Some folks have begun walking a path

far different from the one God set their feet on

when He saved them.

Still others are watching their world start to come apart

because of foolish decisions they have made along the way.

There others who have never even been saved.

Friend, those people are headed for a rude awakening.