A Way Out

1 Samuel 29:1-11
(1) Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.
(2) And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish.
(3) Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day?

Putting On Christ


Bewitched

1 Samuel 28:3-19
(3) Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
(4) And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.
(5) And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
(6) And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
(7) Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

Unfinished Business

1 Samuel 27:7-9
(7) And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
(8) And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.
(9) And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

In this chapter we see David fleeing to the land of the Philistines for refuge (1SAM 27:1) and the propriety of this decision is somewhat in question since faith is by the word of God (ROM 10:17) and the word of God to David earlier concerning his security was that he should be in Judah (1SAM 22:5).

Snooze and Lose

1 Samuel 26:5-7
(5) And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.
(6) Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
(7) So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

Women's Liberation

1 Samuel 25:36-42
(36) And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
(37) But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
(38) And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
(39) And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

Good Heart, Sound Mind

1 Samuel 24:1-6
(1) And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.
(2) Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.
(3) And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
(4) And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

Rock On

1 Samuel 23:26-28
(26) And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
(27) But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.
(28) Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.

This chapter opens with David fighting against the Philistines for the salvation of the city of Keilah (1SAM 23:1-5).

Caveman David

1 Samuel 22:1-2
(1) David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither to him.
(2) And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

In the closing verses of the previous chapter David had "...feigned himself mad..." (1SAM 21:13) before Achish, king of Gath in a clever (and successful) charade to disgust Achish and throw him off the scent (so to speak). David thus had a slightly different take on something Jesus once said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents..." (MAT 10:16), and found it more appropriate to be wise as sea cucumbers, which creatures breathe through their anus and vomit out their internal organs to distract predators and probably obscure their scent as they escape. Even disgusting things can be useful when "...wisdom is profitable to direct..." (ECC 10:10), and this is a comfort. David had feigned madness but the truth is that disciples need not resort to theatrics to appear mad to the world. They need only abandon their formal carnal ways to make men think them strange (1PE 4:3-4), or be diligent in the study and application of the Holy Scriptures to prompt the ignorant to conclude, "...thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad" (ACT 26:24). In today's text we see David escaping to a cave, shut up and buried to the world and especially from the eyes of Saul. Hiding is a biblical practice. "When the wicked rise, men hide themselves..." (PRO 28:28), and so God told Elijah, "...hide thyself by the brook Cherith..." (1KI 17:3), and so the angel told Joseph, "...take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt" (MAT 2:13). Now for David the cave was but an instrument; it was God in whom he hid: "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble..." (PSA 32:7), "...hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me..." (PSA 17:8-9), "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me..." (PSA 27:5). And so the anointed king of Israel finds himself among heroes of faith "...in dens and caves of the earth" (HEB 11:38), hiding to save his skin. An anorexic chanteuse once crooned, "...the best love songs are written with a broken heart," and it may be observed that some of the richest praises and psalms of comfort were generated by desperate trials and persecutions. Psalm 142 is titled a "Maschil of David; a Prayer when he was in the cave." Maschil means given to instruct, instructive and it is instructive to know that when David was in fear for his life, this psalm shows him to be yet trusting in God and praising Him, "...Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living" (PSA 142:4), "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name..." (PSA 142:7). In the bowels of a prison, "...at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God..." (ACT 16:25). We note that PSA 142:7 concluded with "...the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me." Our text today implies the manner in which God answered David: "And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men" (v.2). The band of the righteous consists of "...not many noble..." (1CO 1:26), for "...Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him" (JAM 2:5)? The Son of David is a fitting Captain to such as this world has abused, and we may count ourselves happy if we have become "...companions of them that were so used" (HEB 10:33).

Daily Bread

1 Samuel 21:1-6
(1) Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
(2) And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.
(3) Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.
(4) And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.