Wednesday, November 1, 2017

EmmDev 2017-11-01 [Lessons from 1 Samuel] Faithful God #1

After a lovely Month of Mission we're back to Tue-Fri EmmDevs....
We pick up at the tail-end of our series
on 1 Samuel....

Faithful God #1

The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3 The commanders of the Philistines asked, "What about these Hebrews?"
Achish replied, "Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him."
4 But the Philistine commanders were angry with him and said, "Send the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master's favour than by taking the heads of our own men? 5 Isn't this the David they sang about in their dances:
"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands?"      (1Samuel29:1-4)
After David had spared Saul's life a second time, Saul resolved to leave him alone. But David was not comfortable with staying in Israel and so he went to Gath to live with the Philistines under king Achish. This move meant that Saul stopped pursuing David and King Achish gave David the town of Ziklag to live in. David's time in Ziklag was a very dangerous time: David pretended to be conducting raids into Israel, but he was actually attacking foreign nations who were enemies of Israel. David managed to get away with this "double-agent" life for quite some time, but it would all come to a head when the Philistines decided to attack Israel.
The Philistine army was a confederacy of five kings of which Achish was one. He summoned David to fight with him as his personal body-guard. He believed that David had burnt all his bridges with all the raids he reported to have conducted in Israel. This placed David in a very difficult spot: He would have to fight against his own people...(and thus disqualify himself as their future king)
But the other four kings weren't so sure about David. They instructed Achish to send Saul home, quoting the same song that started Saul's jealousy years ago:
"Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."
It's such a delicious irony. The folk song that made Saul want to kill David is now the song that gets David out of having to fight his own people.
Put yourself in David's shoes for a moment... There he is, merged in with the armies of five Philistine kings expected to kill his own people. Can you imagine the stress? Imagine the looks he and his men are getting from the Philistines... Imagine how one false move could spell disaster...
And then king Achish comes, reluctantly sending them home. Apologising to David and David struggling to suppress a smile.
God had rescued them!!!
And He still rescues us today!

And, as we'll see tomorrow, there's another set of good things that come out of this...

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