1 Samuel 27-29
The Waiting King: David (God’s choice), cont’d. 1 Samuel 16-31
1 Samuel 27:1-7-David still doesn't trust Saul. He decides to go the land of the Philistines...with Achish, king of Gath. He had been there before (cf. 21:10-15). Achish probably welcomed him…having heard that he and Saul had split. And the fact that David had 600 men that would be helpful in strengthening his own army (:2). When Saul found out he stopped pursuing David. Achish gave David the city of Ziklag to live in (a city about 12 miles north of Beersheba). He was there for 1 year, 4 months (:7).
1 Samuel 27:8-12-David raided the tribes of the northern Sinai...enemies of Judah…while pretending that he was doing so for Achish.
1 Samuel 28:1-2-The Philistines prepare for war against Israel. Achish told David that he would go with them and he would be his bodyguard.
1 Samuel 27:3-25-Saul had obediently removed all of the mediums and spiritists from the land (cf. Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10-11). When he saw the Philistines he became afraid and prayed but God did not answer him...either "by dreams or by Urim or by prophets". He found a medium (a person who consults with the dead about the future) in Endor and consulted with her...but in disguise because he knew that if she knew who he really was she would deny being a medium since she was aware that the penalty for being a medium was death. He told her to conjure up Samuel. She did and he actually appeared.
28:12 The medium shrieked with fear when Samuel actually appeared, rather than some spirit that would impersonate him. On this occasion God miraculously permitted the actual spirit of Samuel to speak and announce Saul's imminent death (v. 19).
Ryrie Study Bible, 1 Samuel 28:12 footnote, p. 455
The medium recognized him and screamed...then she recognized Saul.
A god. this Hebrew word may also be rendered “gods.” Other translations include “a divine being” (nrsv), “a ghostly form” (reb), “a ghost” (njb), and “a supernatural being” (sem). Like tev, a number of English versions have “spirit” (niv, ncv, cev). Compare Isa 8:19.
Omanson, R. L., & Ellington, J. (2001). A handbook on the first book of Samuel (p. 575). New York: United Bible Societies, Logos Bible Software
Saul tells Samuel that he has tried to pray to God but gotten no answer. So, he has come to him. Samuel responds, “Then what makes you think that it would be any different with me?” (:16). He tells Saul that this is what God had told him would happen. Samuel told Saul that he and his son would die the next day in battle with the Philistines.
1 Samuel 29:1-11-The Philistines gather for battle. David is with them. However, the rest of the rulers of the Philistines did not trust David...so they told Achish to send him away.
Prayer: Lord, don’t let me ever turn to anyone else, but You, to lead my life. Regardless of how desperate the situation may seem…even if You choose to not respond to my prayers…help me to remain faithful to You. To know that for some reason…You have chosen to be silent. At that time, help me to continue to seek Your face and Yours, alone. If I have sinned, then please convict me of that sin. But if for some reason You have simply chosen to not respond, to be silent…help me to be satisfied with Your silence.