1 Samuel 27

1 Samuel 27 begins with these powerful words: “Then David said in his heart”.  David has been chased by Saul for some time now.  He’s getting a bit burned out and frustrated by the journey.  He is tired and ready to get on with his rule as king.  But it isn’t quite time for that yet.  The sad story of this chapter begins with something David said only in his heart. He may have never said it out loud; he may have never said it to anyone else; he may have never said it to God. But David said it in his heart. What we say in our heart has a tremendous power to shape our thinking, our actions, even our whole destiny.  Our heart is a powerful force, and we need to listen to and manage it well.

So what was David’s heart dealing with?  “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”.  The Philistines were enemies of David and his people, yet David has a word of discouragement, coming from a heart that was tired of trusting God for His continued deliverance. God had protected David so many times before, why wouldn’t He continue to protect him from the hand of Saul? But in his discouragement, David forgets God’s past deliverance.

David takes his 600 men and their households, along with his own, to live under Achish king of Gath.  And he lived there for a year and four months.  Saul could never have driven David to live with the Philistines. If Saul were to tell David, “You must leave the people of God and go live among the Philistines,” David would never bow to it. But discouragement and despair are more powerful enemies than even Saul was. Discouragement and despair will drive David to do something that Saul could never make him do.  He and his men now live in the land of the Philistines which he had previously been at war with.

So David becomes a bandit in the land.  “David and his men went up and made raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites….strike the land and would leave neither man nor woman alive, but would take away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish”.  He went and took their loot like an armed robber.  Then he came back and he lied to gain favor with Achish.  He told him he was robbing the people of Israel when in fact he was killing Philistines and covering up his sin with lies.  Unchecked sin just gets worse and worse, and we’ll see David make some bigger sins in the chapters ahead.

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