Searching for a Place of Safety

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 27:2-4(NIV)
So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

1 Samuel 27:2-4 (MSG)
So David left; he and his six hundred men went to Achish son of Maoch, king of Gath. They moved in and settled down in Gath, with Achish. Each man brought his household; David brought his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, widow of Nabal of Carmel. When Saul was told that David had escaped to Gath, he called off the hunt.
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“So David and the six hundred men who were with him arose and crossed over to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, [who was] Nabal’s widow. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.” -AMPLIFIED

Once again we find David seeking sanctuary among the Philistines. He and his army left Israel and went to Gath; where Achish, the son of Maock gladly received him. If you wonder why Achish would willingly receive David, a man who had been a formidable enemy to the Philistines, in his own rights; wonder no more. Achish had heard the news that David was running for his life from Saul. He figured that if he offered sanctuary to David than David would help him fight against their common enemy.

We will find that David’s plans were NOT going to run along the same lines as Achish; at the moment though he conveniently left that bit of information out. Instead, we find him asking if it would be possible for him and his men to relocate to an out of the way village, so they would not be in the king’s way. He stressed the fact that they were not worthy enough to live in the same royal town with Achish, the king. (Makes one wonder if David had a strong streak of sarcasm.)David said to Achish, “If I have found favor in your sight, let me be given a place [of my own] in one of the cities in the country, so that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” -1 Samuel 27:5 (AMP)

Achish bought it; hook, line and sinker! He gave to David the village of Ziklag. He gave it to him outright; forever. We are told that the village of Ziklag still belonged to the kings of Judah at the time of the writing of 1 Samuel.

We are told that David resided at his Ziklag address for one year and four months. He used that time to attack the enemies of Israel. He, “…raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites (the inhabitants of the country of much earlier times from Shur and on toward Egypt). David and his men invaded these areas, killing everyone, men and women, but bringing cattle, donkeys, sheep, camels, and garments of these territories back to the land of Achish.” -1 Samuel 17:8-9 (VOICE)

When Achish would ask David who it was that he had raided on a particular day David would conveniently lie. (No, I am not advocating lying.) Remember, David was just a man. He sinned and did things that were wrong; just as we often do. He was still worried over his safety; even though it was his decision to go to Gath for his supposed safety.

We can see his his fear of being found out in his actions. “The reason David never permitted survivors of his raids was because he could not risk one of them being brought alive to the Philistines in Gath and telling the truth—that David has done this or that. This was David’s practice during the entire time he lived in the land of the Philistines. Because he did not know the truth, Achish trusted David. He thought David had made himself such an enemy of Israel that he would have to remain Achish’s servant for the rest of his life.” -1 Samuel 27:11-12 (VOICE)

David sought safety, but his choices in where to find it were not the best. Instead of searching for a place of safety, he should have been seeking the personage of safety; Jehovah. At this point in his life David was still learning that God was his Strong Tower. There would be a time in his life when he could testify to the fact that God was his Strong Tower.

* “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened.” -Psalm 62:2 (AMP)

* “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help]. For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” -Psalm 61:1-4 (AMP)

* “To You, O [God] my strength, I will sing praises; for God is my stronghold [my refuge, my protector, my high tower], the God who shows me [steadfast] lovingkindness.” -Psalm 59:17 (AMP)

We too need to remind ourselves that God is our Strong Tower; our place of safety. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this, “So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” -Hebrews 13:6 (AMP)

“The safest place in all of the world is in the will of God.” ~Warren Wiersbe

My Prayer:
Lord, first I need to thank you for being my Strong Tower; the one that I can always run to and be safe. Second, I ask that you remind me of that promise. Remind me that I do not need to go to any particular location, but I do need to turn to you. I am so grateful that you are always available to your children. I know I need to make a conscious effort to trust you more and to purposely turn to you first, not as a last resort. Forgive me for those times that I have decided to do otherwise and help me to make you my first choice in those times of stress, worry, and fear. Father, thank you for being my Strong Tower!

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