Summary: For 16 long months David lives distant from the Lord, but finally our hero turned to the Lord, and God was ready to help him.


A. The story is told of a woman who went to the police station with her friend to report that her husband was missing.

1. The police officer asked for a description of her husband.

2. The wife said, “He’s 45 years old, six foot three, has blue eyes, blond hair, an athletic build, is soft spoken, and is good to the children.”

3. Her friend protested, “Your husband does not fit that description. He is 5 foot 3, chubby, bald, has a big mouth, and is mean to your children.”

4. The wife replied, “Well, who wants him back!”

B. As the story in 1 Samuel turns back to David in chapters 27, 29 and 30 we notice that there is a very important person missing and that person is God.

1. Isn’t that strange, here is David, the man after God’s own heart, and God is missing from this entire episode. How can that be?

2. But when you think about it, God is often a missing person in a lot of folks’ lives, right?

3. For some, God is missing because they have forgotten Him.

4. For others, God is missing because God has forgotten them, or at least moved away from them, like in the instance of King Saul.

5. At times, people don’t mind God’s absence, because they can go about doing whatever they want to be doing, without God’s restrictions.

6. But for others, God’s absence eventually brings a lonely aching and emptiness.

7. That is what is going to happen with David.

8. We will see in our story today that David makes some poor choices that will lead to some difficult days, amounting to sixteen long months of disobedience and distance from God.

The Story:

A. The story begins in 1 Samuel 27:1, “But David thought to himself, ‘One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.’”

1. How is it that David, our hero, ends up in a place like this?

B. First, it begins with a humanistic viewpoint.

1. Notice that the text says that “David thought to himself…”

2. It is so important that when we talk to ourselves that we tell ourselves the truth.

3. David looked at his situation from a humanistic point of view – a horizontal viewpoint rather than a vertical viewpoint, and came to the wrong conclusion.

4. Tragically, we don’t find David praying even once in this chapter!

5. David is coming off an emotional high, in some respects.

6. You remember how he could have killed Saul twice, but he didn’t.

7. Then he was about to kill Nabal, but Abigail talked him out of that, thankfully.

8. So he’s been walking in victory, but as all of us know, that’s often a very vulnerable spot.

C. The second thing that took David in a wrong direction was his pessimistic reasoning.

1. Look at what David said to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul.”

2. David should have known better than that!

3. Samuel had anointed him with oil assuring him that he would one day be the king.

4. God spoke to him through Abigail and said that he would be king.

5. God spoke to him more than once through Jonathan, assuring him, “You’ll be the next king.”

6. Even Saul, his enemy, had said, “I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.” (24:20)

7. But now David ignores all of those promises given by God and convinces himself “I’ll perish. There’s no way I will be king.”

8. Whenever we take our eyes off of God and His promises, and place them on ourselves and our circumstances, then we become pessimistic.

D. The final thing that took David in the wrong direction was similar to the first, he rationalized and came to the wrong conclusion.

1. He said, “There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines.”

2. He’s thinking, “Times are hard. I’m going to die if I stay this close to Saul’s army. I have to escape and the best solution is to go to the Philistines.”

3. It is noteworthy that in all of this David never once took God into consideration.

4. He does not remind himself of God’s faithfulness in preserving his life up to this point.

5. He does not seek God’s guidance for the next move.

E. So what does David do next?

1. The Bible says, “So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him. (You might remember that David did the same thing earlier – Gath was the home of Goliath. Last time David had to act like a madman with drool running down his beard.)

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