Beginning here and for the next five chapters, the writer of Samuel tells us of David’s exile among the Philistines. The result is a mixed bag.
I’ve not mentioned David’s wives yet. He has been married three times: once to Michal (daughter of Saul), then to Ahinoam (from Jezreel) and now to Abigail (widow of Nabal). The text makes no judgment of David, but one should not assume such marriages were approved by God. That God specifically forbade Israel’s kings to take many wives leads us to believe the mention of these is an ominous portent in the life of David. David is certainly a man after God’s own heart, but his picture in Samuel is not one of sterling character. David is a man, as vulnerable to his foibles as anyone else.
Despite God’s assurance David will be king, and despite God’s many deliverances, David is still struggling with his own insecurity. He believes Saul will get him sooner or later and decides to make his home among the Philistines. And yet, in this story, the writer subtly shows us God’s continued care of David. David, for the second time, is able to fool Achish, son of the King of Gath. He fools him into thinking he can be trusted. He fools him into thinking he is terrorizing Israel when really, he is terrorizing Philistine allies. He even fools Achish into giving him Ziklag, a possession that has eluded the tribes of Judah and Simeon for a hundred years.
As I said, the story is a mixed bag. David does not always act as a person of faith, but he remains faithful, and God watches over him – even when David cannot see it.
Who knows what God is yet doing in your behalf? We may not be able to see it all the time, but the story assures us He is always working for us.