“Achish is here to see you.”
David stopped chewing his lunch. “Achish..he’s never come to see us at Ziklag. I wonder what’s up.”
He glanced at Abigail as he stood. She shrugged her shoulders. David walked out to see a stern Achish waiting for him.
Achish barely smiled as the two men greeted each other. “David, you and your men have been the best thing that’s happened to me. My wealth has increased as has my standing with the other Philistine kings. There’s a matter of urgency that’s come up.”
David motioned toward a bench next to his house. They sat down. “You’ve been so kind to take us in and give us this town for our families. You know I’ll do whatever my lord asks of me.”
Achish stared into David’s eyes. “We’re amassing our troops for war. I want you and your men to fight next to me.”
David smiled. “You know what we’re capable of.” He stood as Achish stood.
Achish hugged David. “I shall make you my general, David. Be in Aphek three days from now ready for battle.”
Joab walked next to David as they watched Achish leave. “What if they fight against Israel? Will you defend the LORD’s anointed in battle if he’s the enemy?”
David kept staring ahead. “I shall seek God’s will in all I do.”
David chose the fountain of Jezreel to camp near with his men. His beloved nation of Israel lay to his back.
Achish approached and greeted David. “We’ll be passing before the kings for them to review the troops. Fall in behind me and my other men.”
David bowed his head. “As my lord wishes.” He tried to swallowed the lump in his throat.
Abishai leaned next to David as they watched the Philistine armies from the distance. “That looks like at least twice as many men as Saul had last time we saw them. Do you think he stands a chance?”
David looked up. “If the LORD is with him these punks don’t stand a chance.” He turned around and waved his arm over his head. “Let’s fall in, men.”
When they finished David was close enough to hear the conversation between Achish and the other kings. “What are these Hebrews doing here? What’s to keep them from turning against us in battle? What are you thinking, Achish?”
Achish stepped up to the group. “David defected to me over a year ago. He’s raiding his people’s villages. I trust him with my life.”
One of the kings stood and motioned toward David. “Is this the same David they sang about killing ten thousand to Saul’s thousand? He most certainly won’t go into battle mixed in with our men. He set you up for just this purpose. Our decision stands. He’s not going with us to war.”
Achish’s shoulders slumped as he approached David. “They say you can’t fight with us.”
David tried to make eye contact. “When have I ever let you down? Your enemies are my enemies.”
Achish placed a hand on David’s shoulder. “I’m over-ruled here. Please, take your men back to Ziklag at first light.”
Do you ever wonder how that battle would have turned out if David had been in the mix with the Philistines? I’m curious, but I know why he wasn’t allowed to fight in this particular war with Israel. This was the battle where Saul and his sons all lost their lives. If David had been there a big question mark would have forever been over his involvement in Saul’s death.
David had no way of knowing Saul had just consulted a medium to get a word from God through Samuel. All he knew was his master, Achish, called him to fight so he prepared to fight. Then, he was told he couldn’t fight when the other Philistine kings saw him in the gathering.
There would come a day when David would decide who would fight and who would not, but now he had to follow rank and step out of the picture. I’m pretty sure he was relieved he couldn’t fight against his own people.
I often wonder if they never told him who they were planning on fighting until the last minute. Why else would he agree to go to war with his nation’s enemy against his nation?
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We see what David faced all the time: open doors and closed doors are a way of life for everybody.
How often have you had a door open to you only to have it close as you stepped on the threshold your toe was on?
Yeah, those hurt the most.
How you handle those situations shows your character and maturity.
I see three main ways people deal with closed doors:
- They try to push against that door to get it to open anyway. If this has been a long-term dream it’s hard to accept it coming to an end so abruptly. Forcing your own agenda against God’s will is never wise.
- They turn around and go home never to follow another dream. The pain of having a dream die is too much for some to bear. Instead of going through that agony again they close their shell and remain safe inside.
- They step back, pray and see what God has in store for them elsewhere. The wise person takes stock of the circumstances, looks to God for further guidance and moves forward to another dream or waits for God’s timing for this one to come to fruition.
God has three answers to our prayers: yes, no and wait.
Waiting is often the hardest one to accept.
Patience is a virtue we love to see lived out in other people, but are too seldom willing to develop in our own life.
That’s why God gives us that reply so often. He knows we need to develop that trait and this is the best way to learn it.
This is a time to follow God’s rank, assess your options and carry on.
I’ll see you later. Wade