David is in his fix: he’s got to fake enthusiasm at being taken into the Philistine army. Nothing would make him more wretched than the thought of fighting against his own people, and risking being thought of by them – the people he hopes to rule – as their enemy. What can he do?
At that point, very little. Nor can we, very often, when life is hard. Circumstances hold us fastened, pray though we do, and we cannot see a way out of them. There is no clear way ahead, and no sign from God. Sometimes, though, God loves just to intervene to change our situation. When He does that in your life, to give you a way out, be sure to recognise answered prayer, and to give Him the praise.
That’s what happens here. The Philistines marching alongside David and his men can’t believe their eyes, and they’re not persuaded by Achish when he says that he fully trusts David (vv.1-5). After all, they’ve heard the songs in Israel, celebrating his exploits. And so Achish was reluctant, and surely very embarrassed, to let him go, but he had no other option (vv.6-7). David does a great job in looking disappointed, wounded, even. But he must have been elated (v.8). The men leave on the best of terms, and God has honoured His servant once more, to give him this way of escape.
A hard, stressful day, and a wonderful answer to desperate prayer. Sometimes the Lord does this. Sometimes, there isn’t the answer we long for, and uncertainty goes on, and with it stress and pressure. We are in the dark. But He is there. He sees in our darkness, and knows the path He is leading us on. We must battle in His strength to be people of faith, seeking to do the best we can to honour Christ when life is very hard. Christ has slain His ten thousands of enemies (see v.5). He will slay the enemies of unbelief. We only need to trust Him.