I want to preface this with an apology for being this late. I’m a little under the weather and may in fact have to be hospitalized on Monday. For now please just keep me in your prayers. Thank you.
04/02/16 – 439
Mental illness is a terrible thing. Whether we call Saul’s affliction mental illness or something else like demon possession or an evil spirit, the results are the same. It takes over everything in one’s life. It also has a significant effect on pretty much everyone around. Saul’s jealous, murderous fixation on David was just not going to go away. He settled down for a while, but eventually began to chase David again with the intent of killing him.
David had the foresight to send out people to watch his back, so he knew when Saul (and the 3000 men he took with him) were camped nearby. Once again, I really wonder that no one in Saul’s army suggested that they post sentries, as once again David and one of his men, Abishai, were able to sneak into the camp and get right to where Saul lay sleeping. To be fair, though, scripture does tell us later that God had put them all into a deep sleep. Abishai wanted to finish things right there.
1 Sam 26:7-10 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish.
Notice that David still recognized Saul’s anointing? He also trusted that God would protect him, seeing as he had been anointed as the next king, and that God would take Saul’s life when He wanted to – it was not up to David to do it for his personal convenience.
The 2 men took Saul’s spear and water jug, and went to a hilltop a safe distance away. There they yelled to Abner, the commander of Saul’s army and asked why he hadn’t protected his king. They told him they had the spear and jug. Then Saul recognized David’s voice, and once again, David asked what he had done that Saul was pursuing him to kill him. He again pointed out that he could have killed Saul but did not.
Saul again admitted he was wrong and asked David’s forgiveness, and went back home. David, however, did not go along. He knew it wasn’t over.
1 Sam 27:1-2 But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand.”
2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath.
This was a BIG deal! Remember who Achish was? And Gath? Philistines! The ancestral home of Goliath. David had already visited there once and had to pretend he was crazy to escape. Now he went there with his 600 men, and all their families, seemingly to settle and fight for Achish – the enemy! The one good thing that did happen was that Saul heard about it, and he finally did stop the chase.
Sometimes we get caught in situations where it seems a problem or a person is relentless. We are ready to do just about anything to make it stop. But is that always the best decision? We’ll see how things worked out for David next week. In the meantime, let’s pray that in those situations, God would always give us the wisdom to find a way through Him – not through the enemy.