1 Samuel 27 - A Foreign Land
1 Samuel 27
1And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. 2And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife. 4And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him. 5And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? 6Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. 7And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months. 8And 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. 9And 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. 10And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites. 11And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines. 12And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever. Today's Scripture Meaning
David retires to Gath. (1-7) David deceives Achish. (8-12) Verses 1-7: Unbelief is a sin that easily besets even good men, when without are fightings, and within are fears; and it is a hard matter to get over them. Lord, increase our faith! We may blush to think that the word of a Philistine should go further than the word of an Israelite, and that the city of Gath should be a place of refuge for a good man, when the cities of Israel refuse him a safe abode. David gained a comfortable settlement, not only at a distance from Gath, but bordering upon Israel, where he might keep up a correspondence with his own countrymen. Verses 8-12: While David was in the land of the Philistines, he attacked some remains of the devoted nations. The people whom he cut off were long before doomed to destruction. It is often wisdom to shun public notice, but we must in no situation be idle. We must always try to do somewhat in the cause of God. This expedition David hid from Achish. But an equivocation which serves the purpose of a lie, is as like to it as a hypocrite is to a profane person, it is only better in appearance, therefore more dangerous. Yet, though believers often manifest imperfections, they can never be prevailed upon to renounce the service of God, and to unite interests with his enemies, or finally to become the servants of sin and Satan. But what a train of evils follow from unbelief! When we forget the Lord's past mercies, and his gracious assurances, we shall be overwhelmed with desponding fears, and probably be led to adopt some dishonourable method to get rid of our troubles. Nothing can so effectually establish us in holy tempers and practices, and preserve us from perplexities, as firm, unshaken dependence upon the promises of God in Christ Jesus.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1 Samuel with Chapter 27 and we see David being led to foreign land to find refuge from Saul. In making application we see how the Lord leads us to times of waiting in foreign land as he orchestrates the details of His plan for our life. When the Lord has all the pieces in place then he brings us to our place of service. It reminds me of a time in my life where the Lord called me into Ministry and I taught the Bible on the Radio in a small radio station. I felt like no one was listening but what I didn't realize is that the Lord was having me serve in a "Foreign Land" while He was preparing me for the next step in my life. How about you? Are you serving in a "Foreign Land" while the Lord is orchestrating His plan for your life? Be encouraged and let us learn from our text today that sometimes the Lord has us serve in a "Foreign Land" while He brings about His Plan for our life.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.