I Samuel Chapter 29

"The Philistine Army and David."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

The battle is about to begin and David is with the enemy at this time. He and his men, with their families, are living with the enemy. It appears that David will be fighting on the side of the Philistines at this time. The king of the Philistines has so blessed David that he has even given David his own little town for his men and their families. That area in the first place was part of the territory that Joshua assigned to Judah, but was taken in battle by the Philistines.

David had been anointed by God to be the king and protector of Israel, yet without any prayer to God for instructions, David took his men and their families and went over to the enemy for protection against Saul, who was trying to kill David. Sure, David got Saul off his back, but in the long run, David will pay for this act. When David and his men killed Israel's enemies and made it appear to the Israelites, they were put in a position of trust. King Achish was made to believe that there was great bitterness between the Israelites, and David. By doing and saying the things that David has done and said that were half truths, David put himself into a place where he is going to have to fight against Israel, and his own brethren. God is going to spare him that anguish, only David will pay a price as recorded in the next chapter.

I Samuel 29:1 "Now the Philistines gathered together all the armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel."

This was the famous old battle field of Jezreel, and it will be the place that the final battle of this earth age will take place. It is also referred to as the "valley of Megiddo"

I Samuel 29:2 "And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: But David and his men pass on in the rereward with Achish."

As the Philistines marched onto battle field, they passed by Achish the king, and there stood David and his men with the kind. David and his men were to stay with Achish, because they were his body guard. "Rereward" in the Hebrew text is "acharon, akh-ar-one; the uttermost hind, the very last."

There were five lords of the Philistines, and their troops were in groups of hundreds and thousands. As all these rulers under king Achish gathered together, their men were so numerous they were like flies. As they passed by king Achish, there David and his men stood, right behind the king. The lords of the Philistines did not like what they saw. They knew David well for David was the one that struck fear in their minds, when he went up against Goliath, and they knew the thousands of men of their own people that David had slew in battle.

I Samuel 29:3 "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?"

Every person of the Philistines knew the reputation of David, and they also knew that David had been living with them since Saul was trying to kill him in jealousy. Yet to the king, David was a friend now, and through the few years that David had lived with them, the king felt comfortable with David, enough so much, to place his own protection in David hands.

I Samuel 29:4 "And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, "Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men.?"

You can see the hand of God in what these Philistine princes are demanding of king Achish. They simply do not want David any where near the battle field, when they go to war against the Israelites. They know that David will turn on them if the battle starts to favor them. God is sparing David, for if David had fought and killed any of his own people, he could have never been king. Remember that David and his men were in the enemy camp without God's instructions telling him to be there. These Philistines knew that in battle, the compassion for his people could easily change David's loyalty to his own people.

I Samuel 29:5 "Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, `Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"

These princes are telling old king Achish that David, the man by your side is a dangerous man, and we will not go to battle with him to our backs. They knew the songs that were sung about him in Israel, for David had proven himself with the heads of their own people. When David is around, and the battle is on, heads start to fly, and with David it has always been Philistine heads and these Philistines knew it.

I Samuel 29:6 "Then Achish called David, and said unto him, "Surely, as the Lord liveth, thou hast been upright, thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have found no evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favour thee not."

Notice that this Philistine king knew of the "Lord", for as this is in the upper case it is "YHVH" the Father, and Achish knew exactly whose name David went to battle in. David made that clear when he took the head of Goliath. When Achish said this to David, David must be a little taken back for remember David has lied to this man, and had taken many lives of the Philistines and their allies, even while living in friendship with them.

I Samuel 29:7 "Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines."

So we can see God moving to spare David from taking the lives of his own kin.

I Samuel 29:8 "And David said unto Achish, "But what have I done? and what hast thou found in thy servant so long as I have been with thee unto this day, that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"

This verse would throw you a little bit, unless you knew of the covert type of operations that he had already done, to convince the king that he was loyal to him. This makes David look like he wanted to slay the Israelites, in the eyes of the king. David knew that there wasn't a chance of going to war with these princes so set against and afraid of him.

I Samuel 29:9 "And Achish answered and said to David "I know that thou art good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, `He shall not go up with us to the battle."

This word "angel of God", is a "messenger" from God. Remember whose name David came in, when he went to battle against Goliath? "I Come in the name of the God of Israel", the almighty God, and all the Philistines knew this and ran for their lives. Old king Achish was king then, as he is here with David, and he knew that David was close to God. David knew that this order by the princes would stick with Achish, and that he and his men would be sent home.

I Samuel 29:10 "Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart."

I Samuel 29:11 "So David and his men arose up early in the morning, to depart to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel."

As soon as David and his men left their camp sight, the Philistines left the camp to war against the Israelites. Though it seems that David is getting off free, we will see that just because David was in the camp of the enemy, he will be in great trouble a little later. When you know the plan of God, and you lose patience and act outside that plan, you will always find yourself in deep trouble. We are to wait on the Lord and follow His instructions, and when David left for the enemy camp fleeing for his life, he did not wait on the Lord for direction. So now David is boxed in by his own doings. Remember David is the man after God's own heart, but David was human, with all the human traits and urges, just as you and I have. However, we are to learn by David's mistakes, and we are to apply those lessons to our lives, to see how our faults can get us into trouble, when we do not rely on the Lord for the direction in our lives.


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