What would you do if you were on the run for years? What would your attitude be like if you were wrongly accused, sleeping in caves, fearing for your life at every turn? After living that way for quite some time – we see David getting exasperated, frustrated, and beginning to take matters into his own hands. Any of us would have done the same – but that doesn’t excuse it.

We see it start in the very first verse of chapter 27:

But David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of seeking me any more within the borders of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand.”– 1 Sam 27:1 AMP

David “said in his heart…”. The NIV says he “thought to himself”. Either way you phrase it – David was getting frustrated. Understandably so, he was tiring of being chased by Saul for no reason. Up to this point David had demonstrated a high level of integrity – choosing to honor God and allow Him to handle this situation. He had seen God get him out of several difficult circumstances at the hands of Saul – yet here we see David begin to make some mistakes.

It all started when he “thought to himself” – and then he proceeded to speak things which he had no reason to believe and to think. God had not abandoned him yet – and the promise he had from the Lord (that he would be the next king) should have filled him with faith. But instead – his words revealed a lack thereof. After all, how can he be king of Israel one day, yet “perish by the hand of Saul”? David was caught getting weary and looking at the situation through his eyes of despair instead of the eyes of faith. (Gal 6:9). It wasn’t David who was going to help him escape from Saul’s hand… it wasn’t some master plan he concocted about running and hiding in the land of the Philistines. The only way David could be sure to escape from Saul’s hand was to continue trusting the One who had taken him this far. God was his Protector and Provider – not himself.

Instead David came up with his own solution. (Prov. 14:12).

As we shall see in the next few chapters, this unfortunate stumble in his faith caused the following chain reaction of events:

  1. It caused him to stop depending on God for his deliverance (27:1).

  2. It caused him to leave his own country, despite the fact that Saul had invited him to return (27:1; 26:21).

  3. It caused him to join up with sworn enemies of Israel (27:1; 28:1-2; 29:1-11).

  4. It caused him to destroy several groups of people (Geshurites, Gezrites, Amalekites) – with whom David had no reason to fight (27:8-9).

  5. It caused him to lie to Achish and kill in order to cover up his acts (27:10-12).

  6. It caused him to be in a difficult situation regarding possibly going to war against his own people (28:1-2; 29:1-11).

  7. It caused the destruction of the city of Ziklag by the Amalekites as they sought revenge against David (27:8; 30:1-31).

It is impossible to know for sure how different these outcomes would have been had David continued to trust in the Lord for his defense. Amazingly – David is still considered a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) and the apple of God’s eye (Ps 17:8). That just shows more of the deep love and mercy our God has for all of us!

So… what lessons can you take from David’s misstep?

Be Fruitful & Multiply,