1 Samuel 27:6
Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.
To what fluctuations, what ebbs and flows of spiritual power, the same man is subject! Moral victories are often succeeded by terrible weaknesses. Days differ not so much as the men who live through them. Elijah flung himself beneath the juniper in unbelieving despondency directly after the fire from heaven had honoured his faith in God.
I. DAVID NURSING DOUBT. The pendulum of his faith has swung right back. His heroism, patience, and fortitude are gone. He turns his face and feet toward the enemies of Israel. Tides are not the sport of chance, nor is David's declension. No man retreats before a conquered enemy unless there be reason and cause.
1. God is not consulted. "David said in his heart" (ver. 1). He omitted to lay the case before God, and turned to commune with his own heart. He is simply a man moved by his fears and inclinations. How they shut us out from prayer! To the busy no time, to the perplexed no need, to the anxious no use. How hurriedly we move to obey these promptings when once admitted! If David's inclinations tended towards Gath, he would not wish to ask God. Do not affect surprise; plunge the test right into your life. Are you afraid lest the answer from God should be against your inclinations?
2. Indifference to past mercies, "I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul." Unbelief finds voice here — open, blank, base, ungrateful unbelief! What reason had David to doubt God's care for and over him?
3. Doubt thus led David to draw false conclusions. "There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines." The Seventh Psalm shows us how he suffered at this period of his life.
II. DISTRUST OF GOD PREPARES THE WAY FOR DECEIT. Doubt brought, forth deceit. Deceit led to cruelty (ver. 11). He slew the Amalekites, "so that none should tell the king."
1. Deceit producing difficulty. Achish tells David be must join with his people and fight against Israel (1 Samuel 27:1), and, moreover, appoints him captain of his bodyguard (ver. 2). Deceit weaves difficulties which bind as chains. How could David go forward? Christian, you went with the multitude to do evil, and since then you have found the way of transgressors is hard.
III. DISASTER FOLLOWING AND YET PRODUCING DELIVERANCE. While David was away, the Amalekites, seizing their opportunity, pillaged and destroyed Ziklag. Home destroyed, wives and children gone, wounded where most susceptible in his affections, it was no wonder David "was greatly distressed." If this was an hour of bitterness, it was also a blessed hour. Repentance does not always follow sorrow for sin — never, only in a gracious heart. David's faith, chained down during these last sixteen months, sprang up through the gloom, and in the day of sorrow made itself heard.
(H. E. Stone.).
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.