So David escaped from Saul
and went to King Achish of Gath.
But the officers of Achish
were unhappy about his being there.
“Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” they asked.
“Isn’t he the one the people honor with dances, singing,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
David heard these comments and was very afraid
of what King Achish of Gath might do to him.
So he pretended to be insane,
scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.
Finally, King Achish said to his men,
“Must you bring me a madman?
We already have enough of them around here!
Why should I let someone like this be my guest?”
1 Samuel 21:10-15
I once heard a Bible teacher expound on this passage and it was quite interesting and freeing to me. It has been a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it. The scripture itself is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll give you a little background on the passage. David was running for his life from Saul who was determined to kill him. He had escaped from Saul’s grasp many a time in the past, but this time he was hot on his heels. Where can he go now to avoid capture and certain death? What one place would Saul never think to look for him? Of course…the City of Gath, the home of Goliath whom David had killed years ago…the citidel of his enemy. David thought he would be welcomed there because he had had relations with the Philistines since that time. But when he got to the city, carrying the sword of Goliath, the officers of the city recognized him and were very skeptical of his presence.
When David heard the comments they made in the presence of the king, he became frightened that his life would be in danger here also. So he devised an impromptu plan to act as though he was insane. Now who would be threatened by a man who was acting a fool? So David started acting the part with precision, scratching on the door and drooling down his beard. What a pitiful picture! The warrior who had killed the giant Goliath and slain tens of thousands on the battle field was humiliating himself by pretending to be insane…a fool if you will. But it turned out that this ploy did become his deliverance. The king said, “Don’t I have enough fools in my court without you bringing one more into my presence. Get him out of here! So David left unharmed, but surely feeling shame for the path he had taken. The point that was brought out in this scenario is, “God even delivers fools!”
Have you ever heard anyone say, “She or He acted a fool!” I certainly have. As a matter of fact, remembering this passage has given me comfort more than once in my own life. I am a born again Christian. I love the Lord. I have a desire to serve Him with my whole heart. But there are times that I have acted very foolishly. It’s not like I didn’t know better. I did. My flesh just wanted to do it and I gave in! Afterward, I was sorry. I was grieved at my own lack of self-control. I was disappointed in myself. Never mind that I felt that I had let the Lord down and grieved the Holy Spirit.
But thank God for His mercy and His grace. It is never-ending. It is new every morning. No matter how far we sink into the quagmire of Satan’s temptation, He will reach down and lift us out if we ask in sincere repentance. Our God even delivers Fools!
If you have acted foolishly in any area of your life and you are ridden with guilt and shame. Know this…there is nothing that the blood of Jesus cannot cover! Repent, shake off the guilt and condemnation and get back under the umbrella of His mercy and grace. Bask in the sunshine of His love and let it the water of His infallible Word wash you as clean as the mountain streams that He created!