1 Samuel 29

1 Samuel 29 has the Philistines lining up for battle with the Israelites.  The lords of the Philistines were getting organized and it comes to their attention that David is in the rear with Achish.  There is concern that David and his men were there amongst the army.  Achish assures them that David is loyal because he “has been with me now for days and years, and since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day”.  David has been a good servant to Achish and he doesn’t want David sent away.

But the Philistine’s are not so sure.  In fact, they say “Send the man back, that he may return to the place to which you have assigned him. He shall not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us”.  They know he is a mighty warrior with a huge reputation for doing damage in battle.  Their fear is that in the heart of the battle David will flip sides and destroy them, like he has before.  So they have a discussion with Achish and tell him David has to go.

So David gets called in and told he and his men have to leave.  They can’t be part of the battle, even as Achish tells him he really wants him to come with him.  David again is pushed aside.  He doesn’t like it.  “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king”?  He’s asked this question many times before of Saul, and now he is asking the same question of Achish.

Achish doesn’t have a good reason for David’s dismissal, but he tells him to pack up and “depart as soon as you have light”.  David respects his wishes and he sets out with his guys early to head back to the land of the Philistines where he has been living.  It isn’t a happy time, but David moves on.  And the Philistines continue on their way to Jezreel.  Without David, they are not nearly as intimidating.  Time will tell how their dismissal impacts them in the days ahead.

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