Summary: Sometimes we can become so foolish that God (with His mercy and Grace) will have to send in our enemy to set us straight and keep us out of trouble.
BETWEEN A ROCK AND
A HARD PLACE
In 1 Samuel 29, David manages to get himself into a real jam. After being delivered from the hand of Saul on numerous occasions, David becomes weary of living like a fugitive.
In a moment of despair, he reasons that his only hope is to flee from Saul into the land of the Philistines. David is convinced that once Saul learns where he is, he will give up his pursuit.
David and his 600 men, accompanied by their wives and children, found refuge in the land of the Philistines. They decided to leave God’s hand of protection and make it on their own.
David persuades Achish (a-kish), the Philistine king, to allow them to leave Gath and settle instead in the more remote city of Ziklag.
From this base of operations, David attacks 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 nearby.
To assure that no one will be able to tell Achish of what has really happened, David makes sure he kills off every one of the enemies…leaving no survivors.
David even shares in some of the spoils of war with King Achish (see 27:9), while also taking a share (at least on one occasion) to his Israelite brethren (see 30:26-31).
Can you see what David is doing?
David is playing both ends against the middle.
Have you ever tried this?
Saying one thing and doing another?
David seems to be getting away with it, but suddenly things take an unexpected turn, and David is caught in the middle. King Achish informs David that the Philistine commanders are preparing for huge attack against Israel. He then tells David he and his 600 men are going to have the honor of fighting with him.
David is so mixed up with what he is doing, that he agrees to fight them.
The height of foolishness is when you find yourself involved in doing something that is obviously wrong, and you don’t care or don’t know it.
In 1 Samuel 28 David assures Achish that he will fight valiantly for the Philistines. He promises to show Achish how great of warrior he is. Achish responds to David’s assurances by offering him what he believes to be a great reward for his faithful service - a lifetime job as his personal bodyguard.
Who would have ever imagined that David, who once served as Saul’s armor bearer, would now be appointed the bodyguard of a Philistine king?
Well what about King Saul?
What kind of trouble is he up to?
King Saul has decided to get advice from the witch at En-dor. In chapter 28, we can read how terrified and panic-stricken King Saul is. He can no longer get God’s attention or receive any divine instructions for he and his army.
Saul is about to be defeated by the Philistines, and (in desperation) Saul goes to the woman from En-dor. Saul learns that God is not going to rescue him, and is going to give him and his soldiers over to the Philistines.
So you have King Saul and David (both) in trouble. King Saul is backslid and David is between a rock and a hard place.
There is no way out for David.
He has gotten himself into a tough spot. Apparently, there is 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 have to turn against them in battle. This also poses a serious problem.
What is David to do? Going over to the Philistines seemed like such a smart move to David in the early part of chapter 27. He managed to get safely out of Saul’s reach and succeed at mingling with both the Philistines and the Israelites.
But now, in a brief moment in time, David finds himself caught in the middle with no apparent way out. It is at this point in time that help comes from a very unlikely source - four Philistine commanders.
Text: I Samuel 29
Can you believe David?
This man has become an absolute fool while backsliding from God.
In verse 8, David actually asks,
"But what have I done?"
"What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"
It really is amazing how foolish we can become when we are away from God’s guidance and goodness.
We can really get ourselves in a bind and do even more foolish things.
David needs help.
But then we need help…???