"Now David and his men went up and made attacks on the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites (enemies of Israel Joshua had failed to exterminate)….and David saved neither man nor woman alive to bring tidings to Gath, thinking, Lest they should say about us. So did David, and so will he do as long as he dwells in the Philistines' country."
I Samuel 27: 8, 11, Amplified Bible
"The Danger of Deceitfulness"
"Do you hate to be deceived? Then never deceive another."
Has someone ever deceived me?
How did it make me feel?
Have I ever deceived another person by things I have said or done?
"He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual."
"Indeed, it is not in human nature to deceive others for any long time, without in a measure deceiving ourselves, too."
John Henry Newman
I have always believed that David and the women in his life, are some of the most interesting stories in the Bible. But until I began to really study about Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, and the other wives of David, I didn't have any concept of how much, we as women and men, can learn from these stories which are totally applicable to our lives in the 21st century.
Yesterday, we moved from Carmel to Ziklag with David and his family. A move that took David from God's country to the land of the Philistines. It was under the dominion of the Philistines where we find David began to cut corners in order to get along.
First, David got, what appears to be a brilliant idea regarding the other Canaanite nations that bordered the Philistines. While living in Ziklag, David decided to go out with his 600 mercenaries and destroy, as the Bible tells us, the Geshurites, Girzites, and Amalekites. In David's defense, these were nations God had instructed Joshua to destroy. Even God's man, Joshua, did not obey God's directive in this matter. However, we find that in order to cover his tracks, David murdered everybody - men, women, and children. It's not hard to understand why many years later, when David wanted to build a temple to God, he was denied this task for God noted that he had "blood on his hands." David was a man of war. But here's where this story takes an unfortunate turn.
Achish, the Philistine ruler knew David was up to something. In I Samuel 27: 10 we are told Achish would ask David, "Against whom have you made a raid today?" And David would reply, ‘Against the South of Judah, or of the Jerahmeelites, or of the Kenites." The fact is that David deceived Achish. He told Achish he was fighting his own countrymen. We find in I Samuel 27: 12 that, "Achish believed David, saying, ‘He has made his people Israel utterly abhor him; so he shall be my servant always.'"
Some might call this brilliant strategy on the part of David. But as we will note tomorrow, it wasn't! In fact, David's little scheme backfired in a big way, hurting the most innocent victims - the women and children.
What's more, I find this to be the beginning of more than one deceptive act David undertook in his life. Author Washington Allston made this astute observation about lying: "Nothing is rarer than a solitary lie; for lies breed like toads; you cannot tell one but out it comes with a hundred young ones on its back."\
Once David decided to move into the land of the enemy, he had to come up with ways to survive in enemy territory. And so he chose any means he could - even when it meant lying.
While I've heard some people say, "Well, he was lying to the heathen," my response to that is, "It's just as bad." As a Christian, if I call "truth" the foundation of my life, then there is no excuse for deception - period! How do we expect to win others to our heavenly Father when we can't even exemplify the qualities of His character beginning with "truth."
It was Aristotle who said, "All one gains by falsehood is not to be believed when he (she) speaks the truth." If you and I wish to have others know us as people who can be trusted, we must never be deceptive in our words or actions. But in order to live under the banner of truth, we need to stay out of Philistine territory. If David had trusted his heavenly Father's leading and stayed out of the land of the enemy, he wouldn't have been put into the position where he thought he had to lie in order to save his neck.
I'll never forget a time in my own life when I moved into my own Ziklag. A place where I wasn't following God's leading but was instead, "doing my own thing." It was in enemy territory where I found it became necessary, in my own mind, to be deceptive just to get by. How foolish I was for had I not been in Ziklag, there would have been no reason for deception.
Come back tomorrow when we will find that Ziklag, rather than being a haven turned into a heartache. And yet, God came to the rescue - even when His children got off track - Praise His Name!
"Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"If I have played the truant,
or have here failed in my part;
Oh! Thou that art my dear,
my mild, my loving tutor,
Lord and God,
correct my errors gently
with Thy rod,
I know that faults will many
here be found,
but where sin dwells,
there let Thy grace abound."
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com. Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.