And Achish answered David and said, "I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, 'He shall not go up with us to the battle.'"
1 Samuel 29:9
David is something of a victim of anti-Semitism in this part of the story. He has faithfully served the Philistine king Achish. But now that Achish joins his troops with other Philistine commanders to attack Saul at Jezreel, David's presence as a general leading his renegade Israeli troops is not welcome. The Philistine commanders don't trust the Jewish troops. And really this distrust in something of a God send for David. It keeps him from being on the front lines against Saul.
God sovereignly orchestrated the events that led to the end of Saul's reign and set the stage for David to ascend to the throne. One piece of that event that kept David's reputation clear was this prejudice. It may have been an ugly sin committed by the Philistines, but God used it to keep David from a battle confrontation with Saul and his army. God kept David's reputation clear.
Strangely, even among the pagans, David had a strong reputation for hard work and faithful service. Achish felt like David had a sterling reputation with him (even though David was not honest with him about the raids he conducted). David served the Philistine king with a ring of distinction. And that distinction earned him the chance to keep his reputation clean with Israel as well. God gave him the means to secure his reputation and God sovereignly used even the distrust and favoritism of Philistine leaders to His purposes.
Sometimes what we see as bad circumstances will be sovereignly used by God to accomplish His purposes. We cannot always know how or when this occurs. We know it from this passage because we have the advantage of written revelations AND the advantage of knowing the whole story now. I am sure that David was hurt and upset by this order from the commander in chief. But he did not break the chain of command, and because of that, God protected him. We may not always know why certain events occur in our lives, but if commit to following God in what we do know, He will sovereignly lead us through what we do not understand. I am certain of that truth as I see it in scripture, and in my own experience.
- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13