I once saw a video interview of some immigrants to the US. They were from a country that the US has had a history of military battle and engagement. They were very loyal and devoted to their new nation, willing to even fight for it as they had experienced freedom. But the question is would they fight their home country of origin? This is the situation David found himself in.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Saul was stalking David and his men relentlessly. Twice now David had proved that he meant no harm against Saul but it only temporarily brought resolution. Saul still pursued him.
So David did the unthinkable. He found refuge among the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. Worse, it was before the very king of the city Gath with whom he had pretended to be crazy and was afraid of before him (1 Sam 21:10-13).
But politics make strange bedfellows and the king of the Philistines welcomed him. He designated him to a city in the outskirts so he, his men and their families could stay.
Everything was all well and good until the Philistines gathered together to fight against Israel, David’s own people. What would he do?
The king of Gath of the Philistines told David plainly that if he was to stay in their land, then David and his men were expected to fight. David agreed to go against Saul and his armies.
When the commanders of the Philistines prepared the troops for battle, they were shocked to find David and his men among them. The king of Gath stood up for him saying he found no fault with him. But at the end of the day the commanders didn’t trust David and his men among them, and they were sent back. Understandably.
It’s amazing really that even David’s enemies found no fault with him. He was honorable not because of his environment, situation or circumstances, but because that is who he was.