1 Samuel 29
Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.
2 And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish.
3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?
4 And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?
5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
6 Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the Lord liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not.
7 Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines.
8 And David said unto Achish, But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
9 And Achish answered and said to David, I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.
10 Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
11 So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
The Philistines are mobilizing for their attack on Israel and Achish says to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me to help the Philistine army.” How can David extricate himself from Achish’s expectations?
Again the Lord comes to his rescue through an unexpected development. As David and his men march with Achish at the rear of the Philistine armies, the army officers ask, “What about these Hebrews?”
Achish answers, “David has been with me for over a year, and I have found no fault in him.” But the commanders demand that Achish send David back. So, with many apologies Achish asks him to return to Ziklag. As David departs the next morning, it must have been with a great sense of relief. The Lord had used the Philistine commanders to get him out of the line of battle!
David had his faults, just as we do. Sometimes he wins victories by trusting in God. Other times he is defeated by not trusting Him. The Lord is always merciful to those whose hearts are given to Him. God can even rescue those who are in difficulties through their own mistakes.
Retired Professor and Missionary