Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 27

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Verses 1-4

To the Land of the Philistines

In this chapter David does what he mentioned in the previous chapter as a goal of the people who chase him: he resorts to “other gods” (1 Samuel 26:19). 1 Samuel 27:1 contains his motivation. There is no consultation with the LORD, but consultation with himself. He said in his heart that he would have to resort to the Philistines for his safety, because Saul would certainly not seek him there.

The deliberations of the human heart lead to a wrong path. He has always managed to keep himself out of Saul’s hand, but that ‘luck’ once stops. This is the way to reason when God is no longer standing before the attention, but man. Who does not know that? Abraham and Elijah also reasoned like this and went their own way. Unbelief looks at the current circumstances full of danger, while no thought is given to God’s salvations in the past. We do so when we think that we can no longer withstand the constant pressure and are on the verge of collapsing.

David adds the deed to the word and goes to Achish. It is the second time he has fled there. Then he was there for a short time, because when he feels discovered, he gets scared there too. He behaved like an insane and was sent away by Achish (1 Samuel 21:10-Ezra :). Now he goes there again. It will have become clear to Achish in the course of time that David is the archenemy of Saul. He lets David live with him.

When Saul hears that David has fled to Gath and that he has got a shelter there, he leaves David alone. It seems that David’s plan succeeds. The problems are over. However, this is only an illusion. He gets more and more entangled in the nets of Achish. David must gain this experience so that he may learn that his kingdom will be based on grace.

Verses 5-7

David in Ziklag

David does not want to live too close to Achish anyway. He hypocrites that he is but a servant of Achish and therefore cannot dwell in the royal city. Achis allows him to live in Ziklag, a city he even gets as property and which also remains the property of the kings of Judah. Thus, Ziklag in the land of God remains a reminder of this wrong way of David.

David will spend a year and four months in the land of the Philistines. No word of the LORD is heard all this time.

Verses 8-12

David’s Double Life

David is behaving here in accordance with what Saul said of him. For he acts very cunningly (1 Samuel 23:22). He not only goes to the enemies to live there, but he behaves as if he were an enemy of his own people. David can no longer go his way straightforward. His life consists of deceiving Achish, in whom he creates the false confidence that he has “surely made himself odious among his people Israel”.

The longer one propagates the lie, the more one believes in it oneself and is distorted by it in one’s character. What an antigenic testimony! This false and hypocritical behavior becomes a habit of this man after God’s heart. How is het possible to persevere in it? It is necessary that we pray: “Remove the false way from me, And graciously grant me Your law” [that is, God’s Word] (Psalms 119:29).

If the conscience of God’s servants tells them that they are in a wrong position, one of their excuses is that they are dedicating themselves with new energy to a certain good thing. In so doing, they make themselves believe that such a thing will silence their conscience. Thus David is committed to fight against the enemies of God and His people. For the Amalekites must be eradicated by order of God and Saul has failed to do so. David makes up for that omission. He goes there and defeats them, apparently because the LORD is with him.

However, we should not focus on success. This is what happens frequently in Christianity. It is not asked whether a particular case is in accordance with the Scriptures or not, but whether something produces results. Result is the only thing that counts. The advice of the world is sought to make a ‘church’ attractive. Evangelists use worldly methods to offer the gospel. If only souls are saved, that is the justification. However, we should not judge things by what we see, but by whether something is according to Scripture and reject everything that contradicts it. It is a walk in faith, not a walk guided by what we see.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Samuel 27". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.