Stuck in the Middle

Bible:

And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow.

Now David and his men went up and made raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites, for these were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as far as Shur, to the land of Egypt. And David would strike the land and would leave neither man nor woman alive, but would take away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the garments, and come back to Achish. When Achish asked, “Where have you made a raid today?” David would say, “Against the Negeb of Judah,” or, “Against the Negeb of the Jerahmeelites,” or, “Against the Negeb of the Kenites.” And David would leave neither man nor woman alive to bring news to Gath, thinking, “lest they should tell about us and say, ‘So David has done.’” Such was his custom all the while he lived in the country of the Philistines. And Achish trusted David, thinking, “He has made himself an utter stench to his people Israel; therefore he shall always be my servant.”

In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, “Understand that you and your men are to go out with me in the army.” David said to Achish, “Very well, you shall know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.” I Samuel 27:3, 8-12, 28:1-2 ESV

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Psalm 24:3-4, 7-10 ESV

Reflection:

Archie had a serious problem. He had two girlfriends, Betty and Veronica. He liked both of them, and they were very jealous of each other. One day he made a mistake and made a date with both of them at the same time! He didn’t want either one to get mad at him for canceling a date, so he tried to spend time with both of them, running back and forth from one to the other. First he was with Veronica, then he said he had to go check his car for something. But instead he ran to be with Betty. After he was with Betty for a little while, he made some excuse and then ran back to Veronica. He really wasn’t being fair or loyal to either of his girlfriends with his dishonesty!

David got himself into a similar situation, but much worse. He had run away from Saul and gone to live in the land of the Philistines, and made friends with a king of one of the cities. David and his men went on raiding parties against the enemies of Israel, but David always lied to King Achish about what he had been doing. He actually said that he had been raiding his own people of Israel! Achish thought he could trust David to be on his side. When the Philistines mustered their forces against Israel, Achish told David he expected him and his men to join the Philistines in the battle. David promised to do that. How could he promise to fight against his own people? How could he be expected to join the enemies of his people? David’s dishonesty had gotten him into serious trouble.

God expects his people to be fair and honest and pure in heart. Only those who are pure can come into his presence. But we are sometimes like David. We are dishonest or do things to take care of ourselves, even if what we do hurts others. We tell lies to stay out of trouble. We don’t deserve to come into God’s presence any more than David did. There’s only one who is pure enough to come into God’s presence, and that’s Jesus. He is the King of Glory, and he came to pay the price for our sins. After he died for us and rose again from the dead, God received him back into his presence. Jesus is at God’s right hand to plead for us, and because of him we can come into the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for dying and rising for us so that we can come into God’s presence through you. Amen.

Source:

Gladir, George (w), Fernando Ruiz (p), Rudy Lapick (i) “Role Model” Jughead with Archie Digest Magazine #145, December 1998.

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