But Achish replied to David, “I know that you are pleasing in my sight, like an angel of God; nevertheless the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He must not go up with us to the battle.’ Now then arise early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you have arisen early in the morning and have light, depart.”
1 Samuel 29:9-10
David had been raiding towns and leaving no survivors for a while when the Philistines mustered their forces to go to war with the Israelites. Achish, the king of the Philistines, wanted to bring David and his soldiers along as the king’s guard. The lords of the Philistines were having none of that. They commented that the Israelites sang songs about how many enemies of the Israelites David had killed and that it would be the best thing for David if he were to turn on the Philistines in the midst of the battle and so win favor with Saul. Achish, for his part, reminds the lords of the Philistines that he has found no fault with David. Neither side is wrong in what they are saying and there is no telling what David might have needed to do had he been backed into the corner of defending Achish from the Israelite army. Fortunately for David, the will of the lords of the Philistines prevailed and David was sent back to his house.
David was playing with fire by being with the enemies of his people. Just by living among them, he felt that he had to lie about where he was raiding in order to be safe. It might have been that God would have caused Achish to be favorably disposed toward David even had Achish known that David was raiding Canaanite towns. After all, David was leaving the Philistines alone and removing potential obstacles to forming new settlements, it might have played well.
It can be the same for me, as a believer. It is possible for me to get myself into places where someone thinks that I am on their side — whether that is by outright lying or omission on my part is not pertinent — and might lead to me being put in situations where I could be asked to act against fellow believers. What would I do if that situation arose? By God’s grace, I cannot think of a time when this has happened in my own life, but it is a sobering thought. It gives me a moment’s reflection to realize that I could be in this sort of predicament and only be let out safely by God’s intervention.
Father, thank You for this warning and for the reminder that You are gracious. Please keep me from situations that might ask me to act against the best interest of Your and Your people.