“Angry with Achish, the Philistine officers said, ‘Send this man back to where he came from. Let him stick to his normal duties. He’s not going into battle with us. He’d switch sides in the middle of the fight! What better chance to get back in favor with his master than by stabbing us in the back! Isn’t this the same David they celebrate at their parties, singing, ‘Saul kills by the thousand, David by the ten thousand’!’


So Achish had to send for David and tell him, ‘As God lives, you’ve been a trusty ally—excellent in all the ways you have worked with me, beyond reproach in the ways you have conducted yourself. But the warlords don’t see it that way. So it’s best that you leave peacefully, now. It’s not worth it, displeasing the Philistine warlords.’

Three days later, David and his men arrived back in Ziklag. Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They tore Ziklag to pieces and then burned it down. They captured all the women, young and old. They didn’t kill anyone, but drove them like a herd of cattle. By the time David and his men entered the village, it had been burned to the ground, and their wives, sons, and daughters all taken prisoner.


David and his men burst out in loud wails—wept and wept until they were exhausted with weeping. David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel, had been taken prisoner along with the rest. And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him. David strengthened himself with trust in his God. 1 Samuel 29:4-7, 30:1-6 (MSG)



The Philistines declared war against Israel. During this time, David was living in the Philistine country under Achish, king of Gath. Achish planned on David going into this battle as his personal bodyguard. However, the Philistine officers would not allow it. David tried again, but he wasn’t allowed to go fight on behalf of the Philistines. Interestingly, Saul and his sons were killed in this battle with the Philistines. Unbeknown to the Philistines, David had previously been anointed as the next king of Israel by Samuel, the prophet. David would fight in many battles during his life, but God shielded him from this one. Even though he and his men had been on the run from king Saul, Ziklag would not be their permanent home. David and his men were then sent home to Ziklag to find their homes destroyed. David might have thought they were missing out on an epic battle, but they were needed somewhere else. There was no alert system to quickly notify David that his family and others had been taken captive in their absence. God used the Philistine officers to redirect David to a more urgent matter of saving their families. David needed to use the same military skills he would have used in battle with the Philistines to save their families.


When God closes doors or redirects us, it can make us feel disappointed or let down by a change of plans. We can fight against it and try to break down closed doors. God may have closed that door for a future purpose that you don’t know about today. Have you considered that God may need to use you in a different capacity or context today? Hindsight brings clarity to how God is working. David would be able to look back and see how he wasn’t allowed to go to battle with the Philistines as a blessing. Furthermore, God was moving people and changing situations that would set David up for the future. Saul could no longer be king in order for David to assume that position. God was working in details of which David was not aware to position him for a future fulfillment of God’s Word. It is a reminder that a setback can be a setup when God is orchestrating. People and positions may need to change before the appointed time when God fulfills His Word to you. In the meantime, be diligent with addressing the battles in your sphere today and trust God’s timing in ordering your steps tomorrow.


Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

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