David’s Rejection Was God’s Protection

Wendy Blight

Day: 29 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 29

1 Samuel 29:9 (NIV) “Achish answered, ‘I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders have said, “He must not go up with us into battle.”’”

How could God’s anointed and Israel’s future king align himself with the Philistines? They were the very enemy David defeated with only a sling and a stone in the Valley of Elah.

Had David forgotten the truths he spoke when Goliath mocked and challenged him?

“The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37).

“… it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47b).

Even more convicting, had David forgotten the words he spoke when he spared Saul’s life?

“This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the LORD’s anointed’” (1 Samuel 24:10).

It is inconceivable that the same David who had trusted God unequivocally against Goliath and who spared Saul’s life now stands mobilized to attack his own people and his king. Yet, here he is.

Achish, king of Gath, had taken David in and appointed him his bodyguard for life. (1 Samuel 28:1) So, when it came time to fight the Israelites, Achish demanded David join in the battle. David and his men obeyed and marched at the rear.

When the Philistine commanders learned of David’s presence, they feared David would turn against them in battle. They ordered Achish to dismiss David and his men and send them back.

Achish, against his wishes, agreed. He informed David that although Achish trusted him implicitly, the other Philistine rulers did not.

This put David in a tight spot. He could strongly insist on fighting to prove his loyalty to Achish and the Philistines. But if he did that, his God and his people would label him a traitor. David made a feeble request to stay and fight, which Achish ignored. I wonder if deep in his soul David breathed a sigh of relief.

After studying this passage, I see the Philistine’s verbal rejection of David as God’s supernatural protection of David. Although we don’t see God’s name mentioned in the ink on the page, we know God’s sovereign hand is working and moving behind the scenes to spare David from engaging in this battle and jeopardizing his rightful position as Israel’s king. (Isaiah 14:27; Job 42:2)

A few years ago, when a publisher rejected my first book, my pastor gave me these words of encouragement: “Wendy, man’s rejection is God’s protection.” God is the same yesterday, today and forever, my friend. God continues to work in unseen ways, in your life and mine. Although we will experience times we cannot see or understand what God is doing, we can trust our loving, sovereign God is orchestrating things for our good and His glory.

Prayer: Father, thank You for stories like David’s that open my eyes to Your sovereignty. Even when I cannot understand what is happening in my life, You are working to bring about Your perfect plan. You will even redeem my mistakes to ensure Your will and Your way prevail. Help me remember these truths and trust man’s rejection is Your protection. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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