David has gone down in history as a man after God’s own heart. So naturally, our image of him is perfect, with him always responding to every circumstance the way God would want him to. But when we really take a good look at his life, we see a fallible man, who made mistakes, who responded sometimes through his emotions before turning them over to God. In 1 Samuel 27, we see one of these instances. David had been ruthlessly pursued by Saul, whose sole purpose was to kill David. David had a couple of opportunities to kill Saul, but trusted God to bring about Saul’s demise at the right time. You can imagine him thinking, “Ok, God, I’m doing everything your way, why won’t you get him off my tail?” David becomes despondent, probably wondering if God was even watching him anymore.
So David ran off to the land of the Philistines, reasoning that Saul would assume they had killed David and therefore wouldn’t pursue him. David lived a relatively peaceful life for a year and four months, occasionally raiding nearby towns and killing all the people, then lying to Achish about who it was he had raided. Why did David start acting like this? Because he is human. Humans have an innate desire to feel as if they are in control. David wasn’t in control over his situation with Saul. And as far as he could see, God wasn’t either. So he redirected his efforts towards controlling the people he had settled among.
How often we are like David in this chapter. We can’t see God working, so we become desperate. We get so overwhelmed by the battle around us that we assert our control in unnecessary and often unrelated ways. But the more we look around us to try to control the situation, the less we look up. And the less we look up, the less we see God working. Quite often, He works in ways that we just can’t comprehend when we are looking at the people and situations around us. But when we can lift our eyes to the one who is our stronghold, we will see that “He works all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. It is not our place to control every situation. It is our place to trust that God is in control of them and He will fulfill his promises and He will vindicate His faithful ones.