1 Samuel 27:1-28:2: Pragmatism


  • David deceives himself
  • David deceives Achish


There are various types of disobedience to God. There is the outright disobedience that is unmistakable and any neighbour watching our lives will pick up on it immediately. But most of us are not so brave nor so brazen. Most of us are prone to the compromise, the negotiated sin, a little obedience and religion thrown in and a little sin. This is where David is at in the chapter before us. David has just had another brush with death and another Divine deliverance as he has had opportunity to kill Saul again but has spared him. The feeling I get from this scene is of a tired man, and man who has been under pressure for a long time and now he is looking for some respite. Imagine it, David is fearing for his life, he does not trust Saul will not come back again; he does not feel that he can trust his own countrymen who have betrayed him more than once; he has the burden of having to provide for the 600 men and their families that are with him, and no doubt there would be those who would be blaming David for not immediately making their lives easier by killing Saul. So David gives in. We are observing a feinting fit, a moment of weakness, and it does not come out as blatant sin but something more mixed. David flees again from the promised land to Philistia, to serve a Philistine king. But while having a lack of faith in God he does try and make up for things by fighting against those people that God had originally commanded Israel to eradicate. Pragmatism, this is the shape of a lot of our sin. So as we look at David we are not going to be those who sitting high and mighty gaze down on this inferior man and scold him for his compromise. No, his humanity under pressure is a picture of our own sins. We are watching ourselves when we observe David. Today as we look at David I want us to focus on the lies that arose as a result of his pragmatism. Firstly, there are the lies that David told himself which led to his actions, and then there were the lies he had to tell to keep up the facade.