Now David and his men went up and made raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites, for these were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as far as Shur, to the land of Egypt. And David would strike the land and would leave neither man nor woman alive, but would take away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish. When Achish asked, “Where have you made a raid today?” David would say, “Against the Negeb of Judah,” or, “Against the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites,” or, “Against the Negeb of the Kenites.” And David would leave neither man nor woman alive to bring news to Gath, thinking, “lest they should tell about us and say, ‘So David has done.’” Such was his custom all the while he lived in the country of the Philistines. And Achish trusted David, thinking, “He has made himself an utter stench to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”
Comment: As I read this passage I wish that David had been able to find a different way to feed his small army. There were no simple solutions for him to meet the growing troupe’s dietary and other needs so he he became a travelling marauder and murderer. What else could he have done? Obviously Saul would never have provided for him; in addition he was not prepared to slaughter those whom he saw as his own people. Achish the king of of Gath wasn’t about to provide the needs of this mob whom he had graciously given the rights to live in the area of Ziklag.
David attacked groups not descended from the Philistines or the Israelites, but living among them, and left no one to tell the stories of his murders or marauding. He lied to Achish, claiming to be raiding Israeli towns in the Negeb. David became very accepted by Achish, who thought that the Israelites must surely hate David. Achish became convinced that David must be a stench in the nose of Israel and that David was now his man!
Prayer: I don’t know what lesson You want me to learn from his, O Lord, but I thank You that Your word tells it as it was and is.