David is living among his enemies, the Philistines. He has made Achish, the Philistine king, believe he has been fighting against his own people and become his ally in destroying Israel. Let’s see where his self-preserving lies take him next.
In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.”2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.” ~1 Samuel 28:1-2
The Philistines can’t wait to pounce on Israel – especially now that they’ve got David on their side – or so they think. King Achish asks for David’s help, as well as his army. David’s answer is purposefully vague.
David had gotten himself in quite a jam. He couldn’t say, “No, those are my people” because of his lies. He couldn’t say, “Yes, I’ll fight them” because he knew these were the people he was called by God to protect and serve as their future king. So David just speaks without really saying anything. He sounds like a politician.
Typical to the Enemy, King Achish makes a promise to David that if he does what he knows is wrong, he’ll be rewarded. This guy isn’t too bright, though. While David may have been a great fighter and surely would have made a great bodyguard, he was still the guy who chopped the last most influential Philistine’s head off. But Achish trusts him anyway.
Fear, doubt, and dishonesty have trapped David in a place of intense conflict. His family, his army, his people, and he are all in extreme danger. He’s landed himself in a place of great temptation. His lies are beginning to trap him. The battle is about to commence and no one, including him, is sure whose side he’s really on. To say David is in trouble would be an understatement. What can he do? Nothing.
David rides out towards the battle with his enemies (1 Samuel 29:2.) Fortunately for him, God shows up. God sovereignly “fixes” David’s heaping mess. More on that later. Today, let’s consider where our sin leaves us.
If Israel would have obeyed God in the first place, there would be no Philistines left to attack them. If David wouldn’t have doubted God and feared Saul, he wouldn’t be residing with them. If David hadn’t lied, he wouldn’t be expected to kill his own people.
Disobedience, doubt, fear, and dishonesty leave us desperate. David was desperate enough to side with his worst enemies in this case. It is in these places where temptation is ubiquitous, danger is eminent, and we find ourselves stepping into traps of our own making. Self-preserving sin makes us helpless and stupid.
Does God show up and undo our foolish messes? He may. He did for David in this case. He may not, though. He has no obligation to do so. Therefore, I’m going with Jesus on this one, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. ~Romans 6:1-4