David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.
David lived by his wits in the wilderness. He knew that going back to Israel would be too dangerous because Saul was hunting him again. Where could he go for safety? Who might provide the kind of anonymity he needed for protection?
David decided to live among his former enemies, the Philistines. What? Wouldn’t the Philistines remember that he had killed their champion Goliath? We aren’t told all of the details, but it seems that living with the Philistines was the safest way for David and his men to stay alive at this time.
Making his plea to Achish, the king of Gath, David was given refuge in Ziklag. David, along with his 600 men and their families, made no attempt to harm the Philistines. They kept their word to leave them alone and to wage war on their surrounding enemies. While David was in Philistine territory, Saul stayed away. David flourished in the last place he really wanted to be.
During this time, something amazing happened—the king of Gath trusted David. David had shown himself to be trustworthy. He had modeled the kind of behavior that can turn an old enemy into an ally. In this way we can see that the Lord protected David even while living among his people’s enemies.
Lord, I prefer living among friends rather than enemies. But I know you also call me to go outside my comfort zone, even into places where there might be enemies. Help me to honor and trust in you wherever I am. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!