So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me?”
— First Samuel 21:13-14
David left God’s people and fled to Gath, one of the main cities in the land of the Philistines (1 Sam. 21:10). The servants of Achish, the king of Gath, had heard of David and told Achish, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” (v. 11). The trouble the women had begun in Israel with Saul now reached even to the Gentile lands. If Christians would only learn not to exalt one servant of the Lord above another, there would be much more peace among God’s people.
Therefore, David was in trouble again. If he could have lived unrecognized among the Philistines, he might have dwelt among them in peace. Even in the Gentile world, David was too famous. This was not a blessing. It forced David to change his behavior. He feigned insanity. He let saliva fall upon his beard, and scratched meaninglessly at the doors of the gate, leading the Philistines to believe he had gone mad (1 Sam. 21:13–14). This story illustrates that we cannot expect to find refuge in the world, for to survive and be accepted in the world requires us to live a life that is not right.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, pages 60-61.
Tomorrow: “In the Cave of Adullam”