1 Samuel 21
David was on the run from Saul.
There is a show on cable I’ve not watched but a friend of mine loves it. It’s called “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” This guy named Dog is a bounty hunter in Hawaii. My friend loves that plotline because if you’re a criminal who jumped bail… where do you go? You’re on an island!
David was in a similar situation. Israel was a small nation. He was running out of places to run. In a panic he ran across the border to Gath. Gath… that names sounds familiar…
This being before the age of Facebook, not everyone knew David’s face when he walked into town, but eventually the rumors ripple the waters: “Isn’t this the guy that killed our hometown hero?”
David was trapped so he faked madness. The king of Gath had enough crazy people running around, so he let David go.
David ended up in Gath out of desperation. He simply didn’t know what else to do.
Psalm 56 is possibly a reflection later in David’s life as he looks back on that episode. We all have times when we look back on certain moments in our lives and reflect. Those are times when we can gain lessons for what to do going forward.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Ps. 56:3, ESV)
David had a “takeaway” from that episode. He had feared and he ran in a direction that just didn’t work out: right into the hands of his enemy. Yet, the Lord was gracious to help him escape.
We all have moments when we flee to Gath. We flee right into the place we fear the most. The place that can trap us and sink us. It was out of fear or panic, but there we are.
And we can cry out to God and in his mercy he can come and deliver us.
Learn from the trip to Gath as David did.
“For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Ps. 56:13, ESV)