In our last study we saw how David had lost his support system in Jonathan, Michal, and Samuel. He was in true desperation from the wild king Saul. Today in our study we will see David going to a place that you can hardly believe.
Whatever gave David the idea to flee to Achish we can only guess. But that’s exactly what he did (vs.10b). Would an animal purposely walk into a trap? Well, that is exactly what David does here. Achish is the hometown of Goliath and he goes into town with Goliath’s sword apparently to find some rest from Saul. David may have been thinking that Achish would welcome Saul’s prized lieutenant after he had defected; but Achish’s servants didn’t quite see it that way (vs.11). There are more than one reason why they wouldn’t want David in Achish. What would the widows of those slain by David think? I can hear Achish’s advisers thinking politically. It was no different than today. I am positive that David had thought of all of the reasons why he shouldn’t parade into the city, but he did. He was in real trouble. When we are in Achish, we too, are in real trouble.
We see again that the people of Gath appreciated good country music. They knew the songs of the Israelites. “Saul had slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (vs.11). The advisers are telling Achish that this is the legendary David who has killed thousands of us Philistines. David had real reasons to worry when he heard these words ( vs.12). It seems that his hopes for Achish had been shattered. In Vs.13 “in their hands” implies that David is now in their custody. He is now under arrest.
David now turns into an actor, and quite a convincing one at that. He proves to be very persuasive. He begins to scribble graffiti on the doors to the town gates and lets spit run down his beard. As Achish watches for a bit he is convinced that he has another madman on his hands. He thinks that David is crazy (vs.14-15). I think vs.15 is funny, “do I lack madmen”? There must have been plenty of nuts running around Gath.
I think that it would be a mistake for us to say that this episode of David is about how lucky he was to get out of this fiasco. In Psalms 34, and 56, we are told that they were written of this incident in Gath. If we ask, can anything good come out of Gath, the reply would be YES, God was with him!!! David doesn’t say I was fortunate, or lucky, but, “God is for me”.” He delivered me from all my fears and all my troubles” (Ps. 34:4,& 6). These are also words for all believers, that the Lord God is for us, and will deliver us from all of our fears and troubles. This is not to say that we should go about acting foolishly, but we should never forget God’s mercies given to us even in our foolishness.
What lessons we learn from these Old Testament narratives. They are the same teachings that we find in the New Testament. The Bible’s story is the redemption of God’s people to Himself. This is by far the most marvelous story ever told. It is a story which shines forth with the grace of God. He never gives up on His people. What security we have in Christ Jesus.