God's Restoring Mercy
1 Samuel 27:6
Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.

Throughout that season of declension and relapse (1 Samuel 27; Psalm 10:1) the loving mercy of God hovered tenderly over David's life. God's restoring mercy was evident.

I. IN INCLINING STRONG AND NOBLE MEN TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES WITH DAVID'S CAUSE. "Now these are they," says the chronicler, "that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close, because of Saul, the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in war" (1 Chronicles 12:1). And he proceeds to enumerate them. Some came from Saul's own tribe, experienced marksmen. Some came from the eastern bank of the Jordan, swimming it at the flood, mighty men of valour, men trained for war. "Thine are we, David," etc. Evidently the spirit of discontent was abroad in the land. The people, weary of Saul's oppression and misgovernment, were beginning to realize that the true hope of Israel lay in the son of Jesse. They therefore went out to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. Thus, in silence and secrecy, loyal and true hearts are gathering around our blessed Lord, the centre of whose kingdom is not earthly but heavenly. Who then are willing to leave the tottering realm of the prince of this world, soon to be shattered on the last great battlefield of time, and identify themselves with the kingdom of the Son of David, which is destined to endure as long as the sun?

II. IN EXTRICATING HIS SERVANT FROM THE FALSE POSITION INTO WHICH HE HAD DRIFTED. The Philistines suddenly resolved on a forward policy. They were aware of the disintegration which was slowly dividing Saul's kingdom. When this campaign was being meditated, the guileless king assured David that he should accompany him. This was perhaps said as a mark of special confidence. It was, however, a very critical juncture with David. He had no alternative but to follow his liege lord into the battle; but every mile of those fifty or sixty which had to be traversed must have been trodden with lowering face and troubled heart. There was no hope for him in man. If by your mistakes and sins you have reduced yourself to a false position like this, do not despair; hope still in God. Confess and put away your sin, and humble yourself before Him, and He will arise to deliver you. You may have destroyed yourself; but in Him will be your help. An unexpected door of hope was suddenly opened in this valley of Anchor. When Achish reviewed his troops in Aphek, after the lords of the Philistines had passed on by hundreds and by thousands, David and his men passed on in the rearward with the king. This aroused the jealousy and suspicion of the imperious Philistine princes, and they came to Achish with fierce words and threats. "What do these Hebrews here?" etc. They pointed out how virulent a foe he had been, and how tempting the opportunity for him to purchase reconciliation with Saul by turning traitor in the fight. In the end, therefore, the king had to yield. It cost him much to inform David of the inevitable decision to which he was driven; but he little realized with what a burst of relief his announcement was received. He made a show of injured innocence: "What have I done, and what has thou found in thy servant so long as I have been before thee unto this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?" But his heart was not with his words; and it was with unfeigned satisfaction that he received the stringent command to depart from the camp with the morning light.

III. BY THE DIVINE DEALINGS WITH HIM IN RESPECT TO THE BURNING OF ZIKLAG. It was by God's great mercy that the Philistine lords were so set against the continuance of David in their camp. They thought that they were executing a piece of ordinary policy, dictated by prudence and foresight; little realizing that they were the shears by which God was cutting the meshes of David's net. As David was leaving the battlefield, a number of the men of Manasseh, who appear to have deserted to Achish, were assigned to him by the Philistines, lest they also should turn traitors on the field. Thus he left the camp with a greatly increased following. Here, too, was a proof of God's tender thought, fulness, because at no time of his life was he in greater need of reinforcements than now. God anticipates coming trial, and reinforces us against its certain imminence and pressure. On reaching the spot which they accounted home, after three days' exhausting march, the soldiers found it a heap of smouldering ruins; and instead of the welcome of wives and children, silence and desolation reigned supreme. The loyalty and devotion which he had never failed to receive from his followers were suddenly changed to vinegar and gall. But this was the moment of his return to God. In that dread hour, with the charred embers smoking at his feet; with this threat of stoning in his ears; his heart suddenly sprang back into its old resting place in the bosom of God. From this moment David is himself again, his old strong, glad, noble self. For the first time, after months of disuse, he bids Abiathar bring him the ephod, and he enquires of the Lord. With marvellous vigour he arises to pursue the marauding troop and he overtakes it. He withholds the impetuosity of his men till daylight wanes, loosing them from the leash in the twilight, and leading them to the work of rescue and vengeance with such irresistible impetuosity that not a man of them escaped. He was sweet as well as strong, as courteous as he was brave. (1 Samuel 30:26). The sunshine of God's favour rested afresh upon his soul.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

WEB: Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.

Disaster and Deliverance
Top of Page
Top of Page