Did you know this was in the bible?

I had to double check that what I had just read. David, the hero of Israel, one of God’s mighty men had feigned insanity. Could this be the same David who had fought Goliath, the one described as the man after God’s own heart and who had spent years in the wilderness writing the psalms (1 Samuel 21:10-13)

So what made such a great man behave like a madman! To really appreciate the impact of this story, let’s consider David’s life up to that moment:

  • He had been anointed king (though it had not yet manifested)
  • He had defeated Goliath triumphantly in the name of the Lord
  • He had established himself as a great warrior in Israel
  • The women were singing his praises

David had become so successful that Saul was jealous and decided to kill him. During this period, David decided to flee from Saul’s wrath and went into exile, to the land of the Philistines – Israel’s enemies!

To make matters worse, David did not go to just any part of the Philistines’ land, he went to Gath – Goliath’s hometown. Once there, in order to convince the king to give him a place of refuge, David decided to feign insanity.

David was a disgusting sight, clawing at doors and dribbling over his chest, beard and clothing. I believe that this must have been another ‘low point’ in David’s life. By feigning insanity, he experienced a loss of self-respect.

How did he end up in this state? His action seems incomprehensible!

David’s faith gave way to fear as he began to look for help in man rather than in the Lord alone. At this stage of his life, David was controlled by fear so he acted as if he were insane. Sometimes, in order to get ourselves out of certain situations, we can, like David, plot and scheme and before we know it we can begin to walk in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. We need to be careful that in such times, our decision making doesn’t become irrational.

Whatever David’s reason for going to Gath, it is quite obvious that God did not want him there. Though David did escape with his life (as Achish the king with whom he sought sanctuary ejected him), he did not escape with his dignity. He was totally humiliated and made a fool of himself.

It is a natural that when we are in a dilemma or a crisis, we try to find a way of escape, but deception is not the appropriate tool. Let’s learn from this story of David, who ended up being one of the mighty men in the scriptures. Regardless of how dark or desperate the situation might seem, going into the land of the enemy is not the answer. Compromising our beliefs and actions, will not only get us thrown out but will also lead to humiliation for us. Instead, let’s trust God for our deliverance. The last word in this post is taken from Proverbs 3:5-6, which shows that a better approach is to trust the Lord for his deliverance:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In my next post, I will discuss one principle that David used to make sure that this did not happen again. Until I appear again in your inbox, stay blessed



About the Author: Ola Aroyehun

Ola Aroyehun editor of The Christian Business and Professional Magazine: a magazine dedicated to helping Christians apply biblical principles to their professional lives.

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