Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 28

Achish orders David to join Philistia’s army

1 Samuel 28:1-2

Philistia’s leaders had decided to carry out a major attack against Israel. The plan for this battle was unusual. Usually, their army fought Israel’s army in the hills of southern Israel, or near to Philistia’s border. On this occasion, Philistia’s army would make their camp in central Israel, and they would fight there.

For such an important battle, Philistia’s leaders needed the support of every man in Philistia who could fight. So, of course, King Achish ordered David and his men to join Philistia’s army. Although David’s men came from Israel, they had been living in Philistia for the last 16 months.

Achish trusted David completely (27:12). He had seen how loyal, capable and strong David was. He did not just want David to fight in the army; he wanted David to be his personal guard. It would be a great honour for David to do such an important job.

However, David had a very serious problem in this situation. Achish was asking David to fight against Israel, and against King Saul. Although David was completely loyal to Achish, until now David had always remained loyal to Israel and Saul also. In fact, David was still fighting to help Israel’s people, although Achish did not know it (27:8-12). David believed that it would be wrong for him to attack Saul (26:9-11).

David did not tell these problems to Achish. If David had done that, Achish would have considered David his enemy. Instead David gave a very careful answer. Achish would see what David was able to do. David did not say what he was able to do.

David was trusting God to help him in this situation. It seemed impossible for David to remain loyal both to Saul and Achish. However, God would bring about a situation where David could still be loyal to both men. David would not have to fight against Saul, or against Israel’s army.

Next part: Saul forces everyone who uses witchcraft to leave Israel (1 Samuel 28:3)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.


© 2014, Keith Simons.