Beginning of the End


David’s Heavy Trial

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 29; 30; 2 Samuel 1.

David and his men had not taken part in the battle between Saul and the Philistines, though they had marched with the Philistines to the field of conflict. As the two armies prepared to join battle, the son of Jesse found himself in great perplexity. Achish expected him to fight for the Philistines. Should he leave the post assigned him and withdraw from the field with ingratitude and treachery to Achish, who had protected him? Such an act would give him a bad name and expose him to the wrath of enemies who were more to be feared than Saul. BOE 348.1

Yet he could not for a moment agree to fight against Israel and become a traitor to his country—the enemy of God and of His people. It would forever bar his way to the throne of Israel. And if Saul was killed in the battle, many would charge David with his death. BOE 348.2

It would have been much better to find refuge in God’s strong fortress of the mountains than with the sworn enemies of His people, but the Lord in His great mercy did not punish His servant by leaving him in his distress and perplexity. Although David had left the path of strict integrity when he had lost his grasp on divine power, it was still the purpose of his heart to be true to God. Angels of the Lord moved upon the Philistine princes to protest against having David and his force with the army in the approaching conflict. BOE 348.3

“What are these Hebrews doing here?” cried the Philistine lords, crowding around Achish. He replied, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And to this day I have found no fault in him since he defected to me.” BOE 348.4