A chance to redeem yourself

1 Samuel (29) 30:1-20 SCC 5/10/15



The Philistine commandersí reprimand Achish 1-5

Verse 1: The commanders of the Philistine city-states mustered their troops and marched north to the town of Aphek. This is the first place the Philistines mustered their troops for battle against the Israelites and now it is the last place they do so in this book. Failing to subdue her enemy during Saulís reign exacerbated this threat. Aphek stood near Philistiaís northern border with Israel. The Philistine lords were on their way to the Jezreel Valley to battle King Saul. David and his 600 mercenaries were bringing up the rear in the Philistine procession.

Verse 2-3: The Philistine lords noticed David and his men and asked each other why Hebrew soldiers were accompanying them since they were going to war against the Israelites. ďHebrewĒ is the common word that non-Israelites used to describe the Israelites, according to the Old Testament writers. Achish came to his defense. David had lived in Philistia now for almost 16 months.

Verse 4-5: The other Philistine kings could hardly believe how naive Achish was being. They saw that David could turn against them in the upcoming battle to regain acceptance with Saul. They used the same phrase Achish had used to defend David, Is this not David? to impress on their gullible comrade what a danger David posed to them. David had not only slain many of Israelís enemies, including many Philistines, but he also enjoyed solidarity with Saul in the minds of all the people.

Davidís is excluded from the battle 6-11

Verse 6-7: Achish swore in Gods name to David that David had been upright and pleasing to him. Yet David had not won the confidence of the other Philistine commanders, and so he had to return to Philistia. This was Achishí second commendation of David while he sends him away.

Verse 8: David asked, What have I done? He had done nothing to deserve this rejection. He then professed to want to go into the battle and to fight the enemies of my lord the king. Well, David has been fighting the enemies of Achish all along as well as the Israelites and would do so in the north if he gets the chance. David is not going to fight the Israelites just as he had not been doing so to date. We do not know the details of his plan but we can speculate it was something like what he already had been doing invading mutual enemies of the Philistines and the Israelites.

Verse 9-11: But for the third time Achish vindicated David v 3, 6, 9. David had been no trouble to the Philistine king, a source of much favor to him. David shared the booty that he had taken in his battles against his southern enemies with Achish. However, the instincts of the other Philistine rulers would not allow David to enter the battle. Consequently David had to return south with his men. He left in the morning while the Philistines pushed on to the Jezreel valley to confront King Saul.

PT: Here is encouraging revelation of how God takes care of His own when they are under extreme stress. David had come close to running out of ideas about how he could preserve his life. He apparently received no special guidance from God in answer to prayer suggesting that Godís guidance was scarce while David was in Philistine territory. David had even resorted to deception to protect himself. Yet God continued to guard His anointed servant, even in a foreign land. He convinced Achish of Davidís loyalty, which yielded a measure of protection for David. He also convinced the other Philistine lords of Davidís threat to them, which resulted in their sending him as far from the field of battle as possible.

God providentially caused the reactions of people, as different as those reactions were, to protect David. Even when we do not sense it, God cares for us, as a shepherd. God does sovereignly protect us so we can do things for him.



Here David is an outstanding leader. As Saul continued to decline, God perfects the characteristics of leadership in David that prepared him for the throne. The Amalekitesí capture of Ziklag at first looked as if tragedy had struck, but then proved Davidís ability to lead in cirsis. As a result of this victory, the people of Judah came to regard David as the obvious successor to Saulís throne.

David responds to a major crisis 30:1-6.

Verse 1-3: David took three days to return from Aphek to Ziklag. The Amalekites, whom David had previously raided took advantage of the Philistinesí and Davidís absence to retaliate in the Negev and on Ziklag. They plundered both Philistine and Judahite territory. When David and his men arrived back home, they discovered Ziklag empty of inhabitants and burned down.

Verse 4-6: David joined his men in weeping over the tragedy that the enemies of Godís kingdom had caused. Davidís supporters then turned on him and almost stoned him giving him trouble on two fronts simultaneously. In his distress David strengthened himself in the Lord by relying on God and inquiring of Him. From the Psalms we know that David often did this by looking back on Godís past faithfulness.

Godís gives provision of guidance 7-10

Verse 7-8: David obtained an answer through the Urim and Thummim, which the high priest carried in the breast pocket of his ephod. God no longer responded to Saulís prayers but He did answer Davidís. Verse 9-10: David divided his troops into two groups. The Besor brook marked the southwestern border of the land and here he left his exhausted troops while continuing the pursuit.

Davidís gives kindness to an Egyptian servant 11-15

David did not kill this Egyptian but revives him with lots of food and water. He treated him kindly winning his favor and cooperation. The Egyptian wanted a guarantee of safety from David. Receiving this he agreed to lead David and his men to the Amalekitesí camp.

PT: The third day often carries with it an additional sense or nuance of further action (v 1, 12, and 13). It seems that the use of the third day was selected for a given activity or matter at hand for some distinct purpose and attendant emphasis. The presence of the third day motif at the beginning of the narrative not only reinforces Davidís expected reaction but points to the probable success of his mission.

David has successful victory over the Amalekites 16-20

Verse 16-17: The Amalekites were feasting on the plunder that they had taken even though the Egyptian servant had received nothing to eat or drink when he fell ill. David launched his attack early in the morning the next day and continued fighting until night fell. Since 400 of the Amalekites escaped, the total number of Davidís army, they obviously had a much larger army than David did.

Verse 18-20: David recovered everything substantial that the Amalekites had taken plus booty from this enemy. Absolutely nothing of theirs was missing at all. Davidís had an enormous booty.

The Booty is shared with all of Davidís followers 21-25

Verse 21-22: The rest of the chapter describes the distribution of plunder from this battle. The amount of space the writer devoted to this revelation shows that he intended to stress it. David returned to his 200 exhausted followers at the Besor brook and greeted them. Some of the soldiers who had participated in combat with the Amalekites did not want to share the booty with those who had guarded the baggage. Verse 23-25: David, however, took a different view of things. He saw that God had given them the victory. This spoil was not essentially what the combat soldiers had won but what the Lord had given His people, along with protection. The Lord was the real deliverer of Israel. His generous policy of dividing the spoils of war so the non-combatants would receive a portion further prepared the way for the Judahitesí acceptance of David as Saulís successor.

The Booty is shared with the Judahites 26-31

David also distributed some of the war plunder to the elders of Judah. He evidently did so because he viewed the booty as coming from the enemies of all Judah, even the enemies of the Lord. He may have also done this to curry favor with the elders. They later anointed David king over the house of Judah. Davidís propensity to give made his new kingdom possible.


So What?

1. Even now the Lord is sovereignly working protecting you to accomplish things for him. He is perfecting you to lead in crisis for His glory. He is always working this way. We make decisions. He makes decisions. Godís sovereignty means all decisions being made will be consistent with His plans. David is making real decisions. So is Achish. So do the Amalekites. So, too, Davidís followers. And God protects and perfects so these decisions are consistent with His plans for David so he can accomplish things for the Lord. Listen, you never have to worry yourself about what God is up too. You just make the most righteous decisions possible and continue to act through these and God will do what He will do.

2. Godly leadership is generous leadership. Leadership qualities here include empathy v 4, faith v 6, decisiveness v 10 kindness v 12 persistence v 17 integrity v 23 fairness v 24 and generosity v 21-31. One of the strongest emphases in this chapter is Davidís generosity. When God gives, His leaders share what is given with fellow spiritual warriors and followers. The greatest giver is usually the most influential leader. Generosity of life and living.

3. God is Sovereign. I have plans. You have plans. But often those plans cannot be executed because of situations. God has plans and no matter what situations arise they become part of the fulfillment of His plans. Gods plans are never hindered. God is sovereign. God anointed David as Israelís next king. God was going to see to it that David was Israelís next king. Neither Saul, nor unfaithful Israelites, nor Philistine kings, nor his own soldiers, not even David himself could keep David from becoming Israelís king. Godís purposes and promises are sure. Our God is reliable, trustworthy, and though mysterious in the outcomes, since we are not omniscient, those outcomes are always in our best interests.