During a very difficult time, as King Saul continued to persecute him, David decided to take refuge in the Philistine town of Gath. The giant Goliath, whom David had killed while still a shepherd boy, had come from there (1 Sam. 17). However, after Saul had sought to kill him several times, David fled to King Achish in Gath, where he stayed for a year and four months (27:1–7). This king gave Ziklag to him and those with him. From there, David raided some of Israel’s enemies. Achish, however, thought that David had become his servant forever (vv. 8–12).
During those trying times, some from the tribe of Manasseh defected from Saul to join David and help him (1 Chr. 12:20–21). “They were captains in the army … at that time they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God” (vv. 21–22). Amazing! These men must have had great faith to identify with David, still being pursued by King Saul. They understood that God had rejected Saul (1 Sam. 15) and decided to commit all to David and to God’s interests.
As the Philistines prepared to attack Saul and his army, King Achish wanted David and his men to join him for this battle. Thankfully for David, the Philistine leaders rejected this plan, as God sovereignly protected David from fighting against his own people. May we, like those of Manasseh who left all for David, commit to the Lord Jesus and to His interests, day by day, during the period of grace.
Alfred E. Bouter