Scripture Reading: I Samuel 27:1-12
“Then David said in his heart, ‘I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any longer within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.'” (I Samuel 27:1)
David had two opportunities to kill Saul, but he refused to do so out of respect for Saul’s position as the Lord’s anointed leader of Israel. After David had an encounter with Saul in which Saul pleaded with David to return, David became fearful. He decided to escape to the land of the Philistines.
The Philistines were the great enemy of Saul and of Israel. David felt that he had nowhere in the land of Israel to escape from Saul. He thought if he went over to the Philistines that Saul would give up and stop pursuing him. This was in fact the case — “And when it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, he no longer sought him” (v. 4).
David found favor with Achish, king of Gath. Achish gave David the city of Ziglag (vs. 5-7). David made friends with the enemy! It seems that he made some huge compromises to do so. I believe what we see here is a weakness in David’s character. Yes, he was a man after God’s own heart, but he was also a sinner like all of us.
It seems that this is one of the few times when David faced a major crisis or a major decision that he failed to inquire of the Lord. He took matters into his own hands and acted without seeking God’s guidance. Out of fear and frustration, he threw up his hands and chose to run away.
This event in David’s life is an example of compromise. When we fail to trust God, we become weak and we become willing to make compromises in order to protect ourselves or to get what we want. Instead of trusting God, we take matters in our own hands and compromise what we know is right.
God did not leave David in this state of compromise. He would get his attention again as we will see. The good news is that God loves us too much to abandon us, even when we make compromises. David faced some difficult consequences for his compromise but God restored him. This is the gracious nature of our Lord.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You do not abandon me, even when I fail You and make compromises that I know are not best. I pray that I will have the faith to trust You no matter what I have to face. May I keep my eyes on You so that I will not grow weary or fearful.
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