1 Samuel 27

V. 1. David said in his heart...

This is where it all starts. In the heart. David knew better.

One thing about Scripture, it tells all.

Now David must live a lie, although he does not have to, but he choose to. He did this before in chapter 21 when he fled to Achish, and Achish's servants (V. 10.) Put the pressure on Achish to get rid of David. (See my notes back there.)

Here in chapter 27, David once again flees to Achish, King of Gath. Why? Out of fear. What would we do? Probably the same thing. The word of God points out the weakness of people as well as strengths, and David again falls victim to his fear.

21:10, David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul.
27:1, And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.

Even David had the problem that plagues us all—fear of man. Note the beautiful statement in 26:24, and let him (the Lord) deliver me out of all tribulation. He turns right around and depends upon his own self to deliver him.

David, the anointed of God, is unable to trust th eLord to take care of him. It is one thing to go into the spiders web as Saul invited him to do, but it is quite another to move outside of God's word. There are many men who did this very thing.

* Abraham moved to Egypt.
* Isaac moved to Egypt.
* Jacob fled in fear.
* Moses fled in fear.

All were motivated by fear. We would probably done the same thing, but that does not make it right.

2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

David did not have the indwelling Spirit as we do. He gives the power and the victory over the spirit of fear, in any situation, as we walk with and trust him.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Men like "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E. Lee felt they were indestructible until God was finished with them. Though they did not presume upon God, they were very bold in what they did.

Psalms 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

It seems hard to believe that the one who fled in fear twice to Achish would write the above.

I am afraid we have to cry out with the man in Mark 9:29, Lord, I believe. Help thou myne unbelief.

David said, "Lord, I believe you can deliver me from Saul, but here, let me help you."

God shows us these weaknesses of his chosen men, and he used them anyway. The Old Testament is a book of the law, but notice more than that: it is a book full of illustrations of the grace and mercy of God.

The New Testament expands more and presents the doctrines of grace. However, as we see here with David, there is no more of God's grace and mercy today than there was in the life of David, as well as in the lives of the rest of the Old Testament saints.

David was no doubt tired of fleeing from Saul. I am sure we would have done the same thing as David did. We see the same situation many times over as Muhammadan governments persecute Christians, and the Christians move out of the country. I believe they are right in doing so.

David said in his heart... The heart that is allowed to abandon the word of God will fear what man can do.

David said in his heart rather than checking with the prophets of God or the Ephod before the Lord.

Gad the prophet traveled with David. Gad came to him in 2 Samuel 24:11, and pointed out to him his sin of numbering the people. Gad had come to David back in 1 Samuel 22:5, and told him to abide in the land of Judah, and while he was there, God protected him, and used him to fight the enemies of God from there. 23:1.


1. God had told David to go to Judah. 22:5
David went, and Saul did not come after him.
He had safety in the middle of the storm. He was where God told him to be through Gad, David's seerer.

2. God told David to go fight his enemies, the Philistines, at Keilah.
David cautiously enquired twice, and God told him to go. David did. He had a great victory, and delivered God's people from the oppressor at Keilah. 23:5.

3. David's men were afraid to return to Judah. 23:5.
They stayed at Keilah.
David enquires of the Lord again, and the Lord tells David that the ungrateful men of Keilah will deliver him to Saul.

4. Amazing thing in 23:13. Instead of enquiring of the Lord as to where to go, they went whethersoever thy could go. It was every man for himself, and he went wherever his heart led him.

*David was anointed of the Lord.
* David was the one who wrote so many Psalms.
* David was the man after God's own heart.
*David could not sit still in Judah where God told him to stay, and where he had God's protection.

Did David spend many useless years living and fleeing in the wilderness, because he would not get theee into the land of Judah and stay there. Did he fell he had a better way, a better idea?

His men were afraid in Judah. The natural man is afraid of where God will place him. We must stay by faith. The natural man will flee in the face of Danger. The righteous are bold as a lion, but the wicked flee when no man pursueth. Proverbs 28:1. Would David have had to flee if he had stayed where God told him to go, in the land of Judah?


David had a safe place to flee to. (22:5, get thee into the land of Judah.) Saul had never pursued him where God had told him to go. From Judah he could have done many mighty things for the Lord, and he did.

Notice to where David flees again: land of the philistines. Here he had to live a lie. Both when he went there before (21:10), and now. (27:10)

We have a choice–God's way according to the word of God, which does not seem right most of the time. It many times seems like the way of death:

Proverbs 14:12, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Look at the other end of this verse... There is a way that seems like death to a man, but the end thereof is life.

To David's men, it seemed like death in Judah, so they refused to go back. But there they had the promise of God and his protection. 1 Samuel 23:3.

Saul killed the priests while David was in Judah, but he did not come after David:

Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

David in Judah–Saul did not pursue him.
David, fearful, left Judah, and Saul pursued him all over the country.

When David was not in the land of promise and protection, Judah, he was in the wilderness. Is not it silly to give up the land of promise and protection, a land flowing with milk and honey, for the wilderness and never ending flight.

The natural man says there is safety in the wilderness, in the land of the Philistines. God says there is safety where he places us, the land of promise of God.

How like us today. The promised land just does not seem safe.

* Safety in the land of promise of giving
* Safety in the land of raising or training our children right in the ways of the Lord.
* Safety in the land of faithfulness in the ‘house of God.'
* Safety in the land of seeking God's face daily.
* Safety in the land of standing for right at all times.
* Safety in the land of doing God' Word.


Is not this something. David, "The man after God's own heart" himself was unable to see the advantage of living in the land of Promise, Judah, over living in the wilderness and with the Philistines.

He lived by his natural ability instead of God's protection.

1) David had to flee and depend on God to deliver even in his lies. (Land that seemed best, the land of sight.)

2) God worked on the heart of Saul to where he did not pursue. (Land of faith.)

One, land of sight, seemed safe, with plenty of options of escape.

The Other, land of faith, seemed completely unsafe. Had to stay there by faith that God would provide and protect.

One was the way of the heart, 27:1
Other was the way of faith, completely contrary to the heart.

Look at the life of David. Fleeing from Saul in the wilderness. Whose fault? No ones but David's for not obeying the word fo God by Faith. God in his grace and mercy protected David anyway, but look at the heartaches and trouble David would have missed if he had gone back to Judah.

> This is why he lost his cool over Nabal. He had no business there.
> This was after 22:5. David also got Abigail here while out of God's will.

David also got another wife, Ahinoam, and lost his first wife, Michal (25:43, 44) while out of God's will. God's will for him was 22:5, the land of Judah. That just did not seem right and safe to David, so he spent his time in the wilderness and seeking safety and protection with the Philistines.

How many of God's people do I know who are afraid to stand on the promises of God? It just does not seem right", or "My heart says..."

> And they are in the wilderness fleeing from the enemy, or
> they have sought safety in the land of the Philistines living by lies and deceit. It will come back to haunt them.

David had the "Blessings of God" upon him there. But he lied and covered his lies with lies. Did God bless his lies? Of course not. Again, only by the grace and mercy of God did God continue to ues him.

The land of promise, the land flowing with milk and honey, exchanged for a life of runing and lies and fear of being found and exposed.

Notice 23:3. David listened to the advice of his men not to go back to the land of promise, Judah. They all fled whithersoever they could go. (23:13.)

2 Samuel 13:1, Absalom the some of David has a fair sister, Tamar.
Anmon, a son of David, loved her.
3. Amnon had a friend named Jonadab.
5. Jonadab advised Amnon to deceive Tamar and rape her.
14. Amnon did, v. 12.
23. Absalom invited all the King's sons to his feast at shearing time.
29. The servants of Absolom slew Amnon. (Absolom was the legitimate avenger of Blood.)
29. Every man gat him up upon his mule and fled.

1. David listened to the advice of his men, left the land of Promise, the word of God.
A. Amnon, the son of David, listened to the advice of a friend, left the word of God. 2 Samuel 13:12

2. Result. All of David's men fled in every dirrection. 1 Samuel 23:13.
A. Result. All of David's sons fled in every dirrection, wheresoever they could with 1 dead.

3. Go ahead! Live by our reasoning ability instead of the promises of God. It will catch up with us.

4. Answer – David could have gone back to the land of Judah.
A. Amnon could not. He was dead.

5. Our children will pick up our weakness. David listened to his men over the word of God. Amnon listened to his friend over the word of God–lost his life.

David could have made it right by going back to Gad, his seerer, the word of God. But it was too lalte now with Amnon. It just did not seem right to walk by faith, but it was. The way that seemed right to David ended int eh death of hsi son Amnon many years latter, and the death of Absolom.

God shows us all the bare facts and results.

Not only did Davie spend his time running through the wilderness from Saul, and seeking safety from saul with the world, the Philistines, but he lost a son over this many years later.

Answer–before it is too late.

1. Confess the fact we walk by sight rather than by faith.

2. Move back to Judah, the land of promise. Walk by the word of God and its principles rather than the advice of friends, or what seems best at the time. (I knew a young man who sought the advice of his friends over a glass of beer of how to keep his family together. The result... Both went their own ways.

3. Amnon did not have to die.

4. David did not have to live in the wilderness with the world. But he chose these things over the land of promise, because both listened to bad advice rather than seeking God's word.

5. If even David had this problem, and could not see the results down the road even though he had the law and loved in, then how much more of a problem would we have today? Remember though that there was no Holy Spirit indwelling as there is today.

We need to make every decision based upon how it will effect our great grandchildren.

27:1, to the land of the Philistines...

Without fail, the heart will always tell us the world's way is the best, safest way. Every sense the fall, the world has been turned upside down, which is why we must walk by faith, not by sight. David here goes by sight, though he knows better. He again seeks his safety in men.

Why in the world do we think there is more safety in the Philistine's way that in the Lord's way? Especially sense David had barely escaped the last time by "fainting" himself mad.


David did not go alone. He took his 600 followers and his family with him, and every man of his household.

We do not go alone when we seek the world. David took many with him, the same as Abraham did when he went into Egypt.

Also, it is a sad day when David can find more protection and safety with the Philistines, the world's crowd, than he could with the Lord's people. The Philistines were more generous with him than was Saul or Israel.

27:4, Saul sought no more... Saul did not give up his sin. The object of his sin was removed. He did not get right with God as did David. He simply could not pursue his sin any longer. How like many Christians — they do not give up their drunkenness; rather it is taken from them. "You have liver problems." A bumper sticker seen, "The cure for cigarettes is cancer."

27:5. David remembers what it was like the last time here, and his experience in the royal city. 21:10. The same problem was in Saul's city. In both cases, envy caused him to have to flee for his life. This time, he does not want to stay in the royal city, and asks for a small, inconspicuous town.

In his own city, David could serve God as he pleased, whereas at Gath, he could not. He could come and go as he pleased, and live out his lie without his friend, Achish, finding out.

Vv. 6-8. Zicklag had belonged to Judah (Joshua 15:31), and was given later to Simeon. (Joshua 19:5) Maybe Achish, being a just and honest man, was simply paying back an old debt when he gave the city to back. However, v. 7 says the city was still in the land of the Philistines. "Technically," therefore, David was in the land of Judah, but was he really?

David seems to prosper in Zicklag. Did God work providence to put David in a place of safety? David's goal was not to be where God would have him, or he would have asked Gad, the prophet. He went to Gath for protection, yet he was placed in Zicklag, a city given to Judah.

It seems here that David was attempting to keep one foot in the world, and one foot in the Lord. Do we?

Vv. 8-10.

David goes out to war from Zicklag against his enemies; that is, the enemies of God's people — the Gershurites, the Gezrites and the Amalekites. See Deuteronomy 7:1. David was fulfilling the command of God by totally destroying these nations. Saul lost his kingdom for failing to totally destroy the Amalekites. 1 Samuel 15:18.

Note: Even though David is dwelling in safety from Saul, he is not loafing. Even here, he is carrying out what God had told Israel to do many years previously.

But in v. 10, David lies to protect himself. David knew he had "walked by sight" as he fled to Achish. It seems that his conscience now bothers him, so he wages war against God's enemies, as Saul had been instructed to do. David now lies, saying he had warned against his own people. The nations he destroyed were close to the boarder, so his lie seemed reasonable.

However, what was David's motive for attacking these pagan nations? Was it self-preservation or obedience to God? We see from v. 10, that it was self-preservation. However, his overwhelming success seems to put God's stamp of approval upon his actions and upon even his lies.

"Nothing could be more complete than his success: "He smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive; and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel." Ziklag was enriched with spoil, and that the spoil of the enemies of the Lord. What prosperity then could be greater—what apparently more immediately from God?" (B. W. Newton)

A solemn warning, which we do well to take to heart, is pointed for us in verses 8, 9, namely, not to measure the right or wrong of a course of conduct by the success which appears to attend it. This principle is now being flagrantly disregarded, the scripturalness or unscripturalness of an action concerns few professing Christians today: so long as it seems to produce good results, this is all that matters. Worldly devices are brought into the "church," fleshly and high-pressure methods are adopted by "evangelists," and so long as crowds are drawn, the young people "held," and "converts" made, it is argued that the end justifies the means. If "souls are being saved," the great majority are prepared to wink at almost anything today, supposing that the "blessing of God"(?) is a sure proof that nothing serious is wrong. So the children of Israel might have reasoned when the waters flowed from the rock which Moses disobediently smote in his anger. So David might have concluded when such success attended his attack upon the Amalekites! To judge by visible results is walking by sight; to measure everything by Holy Writ and reject all that is out of harmony therewith, is walking by faith. (A.W. Pink. Online Bible.)

We must not measure right or wrong by apparent success. Rightness or wrongness must be measured by the Word of God. Is it every right to use the world's methods to do a right thing? Does the end justify the means? If it does, then the "means" can be about anything one desires ti to be, as long as the end appears prosperous.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

V. 10 is certainly a dark blot on David's life. He boldly lies to cover his tracks that he made while "serving God."

22:5, David had been told to seek safety in the land of Judah, which he did. Then in chapter 23, we see David, from his base in Judah, checking with the Lord, and successfully warring against the Philistines. 22:12, the Lord told David that he would be betrayed to Saul, so in v. 13, he and his men flee in all directions. Note that in their flight, they did not seek the Lord's advice concerning what they should do. And from that point, David seems to do what appears best at the time. He finds himself in Gath, seeking protection from a Philistine.

V. 12. Achish, in good faith, gave David protection. In return, David lies to him.

It is sad when the world accepts a Christian as a Christian, then the Christian takes advantage of the reputation of Christ to gain what he was after. I HAVE HAD IT HAPPEN more than once; that is, accepting a professed Christian's word, and finding that his word was not good.

David will reap the results of his deception, particularly in his children. Absolom lied to his father so he could kill his brother Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:23-27. David's sin with Urria's wife also figures in here.

V. 12 tells us why Achish believed David. He, like David, had selfish, personal motives, and having wrong motives, he was open to David's lie.

A person with wrong motives will be quick to believe anything that will further his goals. Such a person will be open to swindlers.

David becomes a swindler as he takes advantage of Achish's personal motives.


We have been following David as he flees from Saul.

In this, God shows us some very important and practical lessons for us to learn.

The major point we see from David and Saul is Saul's stobbornness and rebellion. He will admit mistakes in judgment, but never did he confess to the Lord, "I have sinned."

God had told David where to go for his protection–the land of Judah. But due to fear and public pressure, he left that place of safety, and fled to Achish, King of Gath, the Philistines, 27:1, 2.

1. Anytime the heart is allowed to abandon the Word of God there will be frar as to what man can do to us. We will fear one or the other – God or man.

2. We also saw there is a way that seems to be the way of death, but the end thereof is life. The men were afraid of Judah, so they did not go back, but there was their safety and protection.

3. Also the heart will always tell us the world's way is best and safest.

4. When David fled to the king of Gath, he took 600 with him. Neither do we depart from God on our own.

5. 27:10. David lies to cover his tracks and to protect himself, for the world will not tolerate a person living for God under its protection. As soon as one refuses to recognize the "world" as lord by refusing to take and sign the papers and forms, there is trouble.

6. 27:12. Achish had selfish personal motives. A person with wrong motives will be quick to believe anything that will further his goals.

David became a swindler as he takes advantage of Achish's wrong motives.


We have the power of the indwelling power of the Resurrection, yet little or no time to serve him. Pride prevents even admitting there is a problem, let alone seekign his help through prayer, Bible study and his men.

1. We must learn not to lie, for one lie always leads to another.

2. When God's people do not train up their children in his law-word, there is always judgment.

3. Do we seek our protection from the world? If so, so will our children.

4. we cannot strike out on our own without reaping the results.

5. God will not be a fire exit out of the burning building, as Saul found out the hard way. Only genuine repentance can bring fellowship and aid from our God, and deliver us from chastisement and judgment.

6. Our relationship to the Lord is based on the heart attitude. Rebellion or submission will be reveled in our actions.

7. Let us lay claim to the power of the resurrection daily.