So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel. (1 Samuel 29:11, KJV)
David found himself in a situation he had never thought of: ready to fight among the Philistines against the people of God: his own people. Understandable, if we look at his biography: David was a refugee, persecuted by Saul. To get out of Saul’s reach, David left the people of God (1 Samuel 27) and went to the Philistines. With them he felt safe, had a place to live, a purpose; people who met him with trust and entrusted responsibility to him. David stayed with them for a long time: he became shaped by their behaviour and mindset. Of course he wanted to follow Achish in the army and fight for what he thought was right. Without being reminded of his faith and heritage, David was not able to see the consequences of his decision. David’s story shows that what makes us feel safe or accepted is not always the right thing to do, even if everyone around us is doing the same. While it was perfectly clear for David to fight against the people of Israel, we know that it would have been a big mistake. There are decisions in our lives where it’s not easy to decide right from wrong. Often following other people is much easier than questioning well-worn paths. And sometimes we don’t realise the consequences of our thoughts, actions or beliefs. In our reading, the Philistine leaders asked ´What are these Hebrews doing here?‘ (v3), because they knew that David’s faith and heritage set him apart from them. They rejected him. In many ways, David was in the worst place for any child of God. He had too much of the world in him to be at peace in the LORD, and he had too much of the LORD in him to be at peace in the world. Do you know this feeling? Like David, we can always choose the ways we follow. That also includes questioning the acts and beliefs we are exceedingly sure of. David took the Philistines‘ hint and went home. He changed his ways. How about you? Are you open for the Holy Spirit to show you God’s perspective on your life today?
Father God, thank you for _________. Please remind me today what it could mean to act like a follower of Jesus in my situation. Be in my decisions, especially concerning _____________. Please show me where I should question my acts, words or values and ask more about your guidance.