1st Samuel 25-27
It was difficult to decide where to focus today’s devotion, with so many options to choose from today’s reading. I finally settled on the story recorded in 1 Samuel 27.
Saul had been chasing David for years, trying to kill him. Finally, David decided the only way to be safe would be to move into enemy territory. So David and his 600 men (and their families) went to Gath, a prominent Philistine city.
King Achish knew Israel’s King Saul had been trying to kill David for years, so King Achish welcomed David. He probably thought, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
During David’s time in Philistine territory, it seems to me that David was very deceptive. First, he asked King Achish to give David and his men a town of their own to live in. David’s excuse was that they didn’t deserve to live in the royal city with the king. I think David actually requested this so the king couldn’t see what David and his men were really doing.
They got their own town, Ziklag, about 25 miles away from Gath, which they used for their base of operations for raiding surrounding towns. They would attack a town, kill every person, and take all the plunder. The towns they attacked were either under King Achish’s control, or allied to King Achish. But David would tell King Achish, “We attacked Israel again today. That’s where we got all this stuff.” This happened repeatedly.
Verse 12 tells us that Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly. Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”
I’ve heard people say that they love this story because David was so deceptive. While it is an interesting story, we should never use this example from David’s life as a role model. It is never ok to lie, and it isn’t good to glorify those who do. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:37, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Even though David got away with this for a while, eventually, there were consequences. If you do something similar, there will also be consequences. So I challenge you today, be honest in all your dealings with everyone. Remember Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”