As I looked at this passage today, I saw it in a way I had never seen before.
Here we see the Philistines about to battle the Israelites, and the Philistine ruler Achish expected David to join them. Why? Because David had stopped trusting God and had gone to live in Philistia. In the process, he deceived Achish into thinking that he was attacking cities in Israel.
What was David thinking when Achish asked for his help against the Israelites? I’ve always thought that if he was forced to fight, he would have fought against Israel. But it strikes me that the Philistine rulers were right: David and his men would have joined the Israelite army and fought against the Philistines. The Philistines had actually experienced this in their battles against Saul and Jonathan before which is why they now distrusted David. (I Samuel 14:21)
But God stopped David. Why? Because while battling his enemies were fine, it was wrong to do so while pretending to be their friends.
I wonder. When Achish used God’s name, and said to David, “You’re an honorable man,” was David’s conscience stung?
So many times we think the ends justifies the means. But in God’s eyes, it never does. Sin is always wrong in his eyes, even when we think our motives our right.