This is surely a possibility to consider: did David really
hope to go into battle alongside the Philistines, and then turn against them --
making another show of loyalty to Saul (TMD 78)? The Philistine commanders
certainly thought so (v 4)!
If this were the case, then -- providentially -- God did not
allow this, because He knew that Saul and his army were to be defeated, and it
would not be good if David were to be associated with them in that
If Achish had allowed David to remain, can we suppose he would
have been faithful to Achish (and the Philistines) and fight against Israel? Or
would he have done -- as the lords of the Philistines said -- and joined with
Saul against the Philistines in battle? I would guess that he would have used
the occasion to turn against the Philistines and fight for Saul and Israel. But,
either way, God prevented him from being in such a situation... in fact, He sees
that David is sent far away from the battle, because either alternative was not
the best for David: (1) Fighting against Saul was unacceptable; the sort of
thing David had never done before, and which he had gone to great lengths to
avoid, even when Saul sought his life -- Saul was after all the LORD's Anointed.
(2) Switching sides to fight for Saul and against the Philistines would have
placed him on the "wrong side" too, in that God seems to have determined that
Saul and his house would fall in battle; this was His plan, to open the way for
David to assume the throne for which he was intended. And David, being there
personally, would only cause problems.
When you think about it, it seems to me this is a lot like the
political quandary that Christadelphians face all the time: i.e., "So why DON'T
you vote in such-and-such elections? Surely you can see that Party X and its
candidates are better/more righteous/more suitable in God's sight than Party Y
and its candidates." And the answer -- at least, AN answer -- would be: "Even if
Party X -- like Saul -- is 'better' than Party Y -- the Philistines -- that
doesn't necessarily mean that God wants Party X -- or Saul -- to win out this
time! So I take no position on this matter, and leave it to God to work out in
His own way."
AS SURELY AS THE LORD LIVES: The name of David's God is
prob used only as a courtesy.
Ct the honesty of Achish with David's answer (v 8).
David plays a part to the last. Another deception, as in 1Sa
ALONG WITH YOUR MASTER'S SERVANTS WHO HAVE COME WITH
YOU: Day by day, more of Saul's men are falling away to David (cp 1Ch
12:19-22). Knowledge of this would arouse Philistine suspicions.