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Feigning Insanity; Taste and See

That the Lord Is Good (1 Samuel 21:13-15; Psalm 34) November 6

David reasons that it would be safer with the enemy than with Saul. But he almost gets in over his head with the Philistines. They would probably have tortured him for useful military information against Israel. By pretending to be insane, however, David renders himself not only useless to the Philistine cause, but even offensive in the royal presence of Achish (verses 12-15). The superscription at the beginning of Psalm 34 tells us how this episode ends, with the king driving David away and him departing. In this same superscription, however, it should be noted that Achish is referred to as Abimelech—this being the dynastic title of Philistine rulers for centuries, meaning "My Father Is King" (compare Genesis 20:2; 26:1).

In Psalm 34, David writes of God setting His angels about him and saving him from Achish. His words are intended to encourage others to take inspiration from these events to look to God's deliverance in all seemingly impossible trials (verses 8-14). David is essentially saying to us today that just as God saved him, He will likewise save us too. Notice verse 6: "This poor man [David] cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles."

Those who trust in God will find true and ultimate happiness, as David basically assures us. Indeed, we are to put God's way of life to the test (verse 8). However, some would take verse 9 ("There is no want to those who fear Him") and read into it a "prosperity gospel," thinking that God promises to shower us with the riches of this world. Yet the word "want" here really means "lack"—and clearly implies lack of any absolute need. Indeed, our spiritual needs and our physical wants are two separate things. Verse 9 is not promising uninterrupted comfort, but that God will meet every ultimate need.

The circumstances confronting David as he wrote these words confirm this truth. A refugee from his own country because of a death sentence from his king, he found himself far from comfort—in the land of his lifelong enemies! Yet God was with him.

Consider that our spiritual welfare is most important. And spiritual strength can be increased when we are in physical need. The apostle Paul put it this way: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). Of course, God is faithful to meet even our physical needs until He decides that it is time for our physical life to come to an end.

For a bit more insight into this matter, read and consider Proverbs 30:7-9.

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