“Then Achish called David and said to him, ‘Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight. For to this day I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you. Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.’” 1 Samuel 29:6–7
All the cities of the Philistines have gathered to make war against the Israelites. Achish, King of Gath, has asked David and his men to fight with them in this great battle, and David has gone up to fight.
Shortly before the battle the lords of the Philistines, together with their armies, presented themselves in review. David and his men passed in review with the troops of Achish toward the end of the review, and when the princes of the Philistines saw David and his men they became angry.
“What are these Hebrews doing here? Make them go back to the place you’ve made for them. Who knows whether or not they will turn on us in battle believing that they can buy favor with Saul by their treachery against us.”
Achish tried to defend David and convince the other princes that they could trust but but he was unable.
Scripture doesn’t tell us what David’s intentions were regarding the approaching battle but I’m confident, given David’s previous refusal to harm king Saul and his intentional choice to not raid border cities of Israel, that David and his men would not have helped the Philistines fight against Israel, God’s chosen people. No doubt David had been feeling like he’d been caught between a rock and a hard place. How was he to maintain his fidelity with Israel and still demonstrate his loyalty to his Philistine benefactor.
Truthfully, David was in this situation because he had trusted in his own maneuvering, and planning more than he had in the leading of God. I don’t believe it was God’s plan for David to seek refuge with the Philistines, and if David had held to faith longer God would have revealed his providence without David having to resort to currying favor with idolators and enemies of Israel.
But God’s sovereignty isn’t limited or thwarted by our faithless missteps. God had David’s back even when David had been compromising himself. In the rejection of the Philistine princes we see God stepping in and providing his chosen with the way out he needed.
God’s like that with all of us. His grace and forgiveness covers our missteps and mistakes. His redemption covers our rebellion, and his providence recovers the lost time and opportunities. Sometimes miracles are required and he’s more than up to the task.
Thank you God for being everything we need. You take care of what’s out of our control, make up for errors regarding for what should have been in our control and generally cover us with your grace. Your love is boundless and we’re so very thankful.