Strange Bedfellows

1 Samuel 27:2:  “So David and the six hundred men with him went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath” (NIV).

Observation: Under constant pressure from Saul’s pursuing army, David decided to seek relief by settling among the Philistines. He and his army, together with their families, migrated to Gath where David asked permission to live in one of Gath’s rural communities. As David anticipated, Saul gave up the chase once he learned that further pursuit would require incursion into Philistine territory.

Application: Politics, it is said, makes strange bedfellows. Through the ages we have seen even seemingly good leaders make unrighteous decisions to ally in common effort under the banner of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That is what has happened here, as David makes no effort to consult God in the matter, relying instead upon the logic of fallen intellect and the pressure of exhaustion.  David, whose reputation had been established by vanquishing the Philistine warrior Goliath, sought refuge among Goliath’s countrymen. He chose the covering of Israel’s enemies in a foreign land over God’s covering in the land of God’s promise.  For his part, the Philistine leader recognized a useful alliance when presented with one; hospitality to David now would obligate David in the future to join the Philistine army in the war against Israel (see 1 Sam 28:1).

David’s logic was insightful to a point, as it purchased immediate relief from Saul, but there is always a price to pay for reliance upon strategies of our own devising. This was the same David who earlier was convicted of error when he merely snipped off a piece of Saul’s cloak. Here he proposes an arrangement that would require him to join full battle against Saul whenever a Philistine king demanded it.

It is worth considering: Have I made such alliances in my own life? When weakened by whatever battle now rages, do I conclude that the ends justify the means, or do I believe that the means matter as much to God as do the ends?

If I believe God to be sovereign, if I trust absolutely in His superior ability in every situation, I will be led to the unalterable conclusion that His ends will be accomplished every time. No exception. What leads me to bend where means are concerned is my own pathetic desire for credit as part of God’s resource for accomplishing His ends.  Compromise results, every time. No exception.

I must remain content in the knowledge that God will win. Having read the end of the Book, I know His victory is complete, on His terms, without compromise. Each step of my own journey requires an uncompromising commitment to living in utter dependence upon Him.

Prayer:  Lord, above all, I want to be counted among those who seek Your face moment by moment, no matter today’s exhaustion and despair.

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