Jan. 24. David Joins the Philistines

I Sam. 27:-28:2; 29:1-11

The Philistines were long-time enemies of Israel. Their main stronghold was in the southwestern coastal area of Canaan. Chief Philistine cities were Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath and Gaza. In an ironic twist, David, his wives, his six hundred man army and their families fled to Achish, the king of the Philistine city of Gath to seek refuge from Saul. He asked for a place to dwell and received Ziklag which became a long-time possession of the kings of Judah.

David was a shrewd and deceptive individual. In order to cultivate favor with Achish and to destroy enemies of Israel, David and his men went out and raided various lands. Achish was led to believe that David was destroying cities in the southern areas of Israel. He completely destroyed men, women and children to prevent the truth from being revealed to the Philistian king.

In time, the Philistines gathered their armies together to go to war against Israel. David and his men were also mobilized for the battle. When they appeared at the end of the review with Achish, the princes of the Philistines were suspicious of their presence. Even with Achish defending the “defected” David, the Philistine princes ordered that David and his men be sent back to their homes in Ziklag.