Time and again Saul had gone out trying to catch David and put him to death and twice now God had given David the opportunity to kill Saul but David hadn’t done it because Saul was God’s anointed. Yet David was convinced that Saul would kill him one day unless he escaped to the land of the Philistines.
So he got up and went over with the now 600 men who followed him to Achish the king of Gath. For a while he and his family lived with the king in Gath but then David asked permission to go live in one of the country towns and so King Achish gave him Ziklag, which belonged to the kings of Judah for many generations. David lived there for a year and four months. During that time while living among the Philistines who were not natives to the land of Canaan, David made raids against the Canaanites as far away as the border of Egypt. He would strike these Canaanites down but keep their livestock and clothes and come back to King Achish. When the king asked David where he had raided, David would make it sound like he had been raiding the people of Israel. David did not leave anyone alive to bring news back to Gath saying what he had done. So King Achish trusted David because he thought that David would always be faithful to him since he was making the people of Israel upset.
Later the Philistines gathered all of their forces and the Israelites were encamped by the spring that is in Jezreel. David and his men were with King Achish and as the lords of the Philistines passed by they asked what these Hebrews were doing here and Achish said, “This is David, the servant of Saul, king of Israel, who deserted to me for days and years now and I have found him faithful to this day.” But the commanders of the Philistines got upset with King Achish and told him to send David and his men back to the place he had given them because they were afraid that David would side with the Israelites. Achish told David that it didn’t seem right but he had to send him back home to Ziklag and David said, “But haven’t I been a good servant that I might go fight your enemies?” And Achish said, “Yes, you are as blameless as an angel of God, but the commanders have said that you will not go with us into battle so get up and leave as soon as it is light.” David left to go back to the land of the Philistines that morning but the Philistines went to attack the army of Israel.
When David and his men arrived in Ziklag on the third day, a Canaanite tribe had raided Ziklag and the surrounding area and had burned the city and taken captive the women in it, killing no one but carrying them all away, and David and his men came and found their city burned and their wives and sons and daughters had been taken captive.
Heavenly Father, use this story in my heart, lead me to trust in you, you are working all things together for my salvation, may you hold me blameless because of Jesus, in Jesus’ name. Amen.