1Samuel 28-29

Thursday Evening Bible Study

May 17, 2012

Introduction

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?

Saul was anointed to be the first king, but through Saul’s continued disobedience to God’s commands, God has told Saul that he will no longer king.

Samuel has anointed the next king, a young man named David. In God’s eyes, David is the king, but in the nation’s eyes, Saul is still king.

As God used David to bring victory over the Philistines, Saul began to grow insanely jealous, to the point of trying to have David killed.

David is now a man on the run.  He’s been hiding out in the deserts of Judah, moving from place to place as Saul continues to try and find and kill David.

He’s now even resorted to living on the other side of the border, living with the Philistines. 

Because of David’s move to the Philistines, Saul has finally stopped chasing him.

Meanwhile, David has continued the work God has called him to do – fighting against the enemies of Israel while the Philistines think he’s fighting Israel.

All along, David has been trusting God to take care of his enemy Saul.

We are now going to see the events that will lead up to the death of Saul, and the establishing of David as king over Israel.

28:1-15 The Witch at Endor

:1 Now it happened in those days that the Philistines gathered their armies together for war, to fight with Israel. And Achish said to David, “You assuredly know that you will go out with me to battle, you and your men.”

:2 So David said to Achish, “Surely you know what your servant can do.” And Achish said to David, “Therefore I will make you one of my chief guardians forever.”

:1 Achish – king of the Philistine city of Gath.

David has been living under the protection of Achish now for a little over a year.

Achish is convinced that David is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

There is a big battle that is brewing against Israel, and Achish wants David to fight in the battle at his side.

Play Jezreel battle map clip

We’ve been looking at things that have happened in the south in the area of Judah.  Now the focus is going to be up north towards the Galilee.
The area we’ll be looking at is also known as the Jezreel Valley, where the Megiddo is and where Armageddon will take place.  This is just another of the battles that would take place in that valley.
The Israelites will be gathering on Mount Gilboa while the Philistines will be camping at Shunem.

:2 chiefro’sh – head, top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning

:2 guardiansshamar – to keep, guard, observe, give heed

:3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented for him and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land.

:3 Samuel had died

We were told of Samuel’s death back in chapter 25:1.

(1 Sa 25:1 NKJV) —1 Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.
The writer is simply letting us know that we’re in that same time period.

:3 mediums and the spiritists

Again, the writer is setting up the story for us by telling us of something that Saul has already done.

Both words speak of people who deal with the demonic, either by working with the aid of a demonic spirit, or in an attempt to contact a dead person.

mediums‘owb – water skin bottle; necromancer; one who evokes the dead; ghost, spirit of a dead one; one that has a familiar spirit.
spirits[email protected]‘oniy – a knower, one who has a familiar spirit; soothsayer, necromancer; “spiritist”, “psychic”.  A “necromancer” is a person who tries to contact the spirits of dead people.

At some point in his reign as king, Saul acted in obedience to the Law of Moses, which outlawed these types of things. (Lev. 19:31; 20:27; Deut. 18:9-14)

(Lev 19:31 NLT)  "Do not rely on mediums and psychics, for you will be defiled by them. I, the LORD, am your God.
(Lev 20:27 NLT)  "Men and women among you who act as mediums or psychics must be put to death by stoning. They are guilty of a capital offense."
(Deu 18:9-14 NLT)  "When you arrive in the land the LORD your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. {10} For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, {11} or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. {12} Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you. {13} You must be blameless before the LORD your God. {14} The people you are about to displace consult with sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things.
(Le 20:6 NKJV) ‘And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.
Last Sunday we talked about Babylon the “Mother of all harlots”, and how spiritual unfaithfulness was equated with immorality, just like it is here.

Lesson

Spiritual Counterfeits

Why are these things wrong?
Is it because we will get bad information?

Not always.  In fact, this is one reason why people are sucked into these things, because there is a real power here.  Satan is at work and he draws people in with demonstrations of power and knowledge.

There’s this fellow on TV named John Edward (not the politician, John Edwards) who claims to talk to people on the “other side”.

He seems to say some amazing things.  Some of it may be a trick, but probably not all of it.

Play “John Edward” clip.

He talked about the voices from those on the other side or his “guides”, which are demonic beings feeding him ideas.

The problem is that it opens the door to deception.  You start with little bit of truth, and then Satan takes you the wrong direction.

It’s like a counterfeiter giving you a real bill first, then giving you the counterfeits after you trust him.

So, worst of all, a person becomes dependent upon Satan instead of God.

Paul says that this is something we ought to be aware of in the end times.

(1 Ti 4:1 NKJV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

The sad thing is that Saul’s upcoming death will partly be due to the fact that he is consulting a medium, breaking his own law.
(1 Ch 10:13–14 NKJV)13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. 14 But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

God is pretty serious about this stuff.  It’s pretty dangerous.  It will lead you astray and bring your destruction.

:4 Then the Philistines gathered together, and came and encamped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped at Gilboa.

:4 ShunemShuwnem – “double resting place”

:4 GilboaGilboa– “swollen heap”

Play Gath to Gilboa map clip

The Philistines will be moving northward along the coast from Gath, through the Megiddo pass, into the Valley of Jezreel, to Shunem.

It’s a mistake to think of Gilboa as a single mountain peak.  It’s actually a line of hills.  We have already seen Gilboa when we looked at Gideon’s battle with the Midianites, which took place in the very same area as this battle will.

:5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.

:6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.

:6 Urim

Along with the “Thummim”, these stones were kept in a pouch on the high-priest’s breastplate.

Somehow these stones were used in determining God’s answers to questions.

:6 the Lord did not answer him

In those days, there were three ways that God spoke:  Dreams, Urim, or prophets.

For some reason God is not answering Saul.

Lesson

When God is silent

Is there a reason God is silent?
Sin:  Sometimes it’s because there is sin in our lives that we aren’t dealing with.
(Is 59:1–2 NKJV) —1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

Perhaps God didn’t answer Saul because he had killed the priests (1Sam. 22)?  That might do it.

Saul knows this principle.  Back when Jonathan had taken on the Philistines (1Sam. 14), the Israelites had fought hard all day, and Saul wondered whether or not to continue the battle.

God was “silent”.  Saul assumed that it must have been because of sin:

(1 Sa 14:38 NKJV) And Saul said, “Come over here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see what this sin was today.

Saul decided to figure out who was the one to blame for God being silent. I came across something in the ESV version this year in this chapter.

(1 Sa 14:41 ESV) Therefore Saul said, “O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.” And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped.

Another time that Saul had disobeyed was when he didn’t obey what God commanded concerning the Amalekites.  At that time, Samuel had said,

(1 Sa 15:22–23 NKJV) —22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

And here rebellious Saul is now contacting a witch.

If you want God to talk to you, you’ll need to do something with your sin, like “change”.

Peter writes to husbands about their prayer life:

(1 Pe 3:7 NKJV) Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Some suggest this means that if husbands will treat their wives correctly, that husbands and wives will pray together.

Others suggest this means that God isn’t going to hear the husband’s prayers if he doesn’t treat his wife properly.

Deal with your sin. The Bible says,

(1 Jn 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus can cleanse us from our sins because He died on a cross to pay for our sins.

Impatience: Sometimes we simply need to wait for Him and His time.  Sometimes God is silent because it’s simply not time for us to get an answer.
One of the things we’ve seen in Saul’s life is a tendency to be impatient and impulsive.

When Samuel was alive, Saul had been instructed to wait for Samuel at Gilgal for seven days, and then Samuel would show up, perform a sacrifice, and give Saul instructions of what to do.  But one time it seemed that Samuel wasn’t going to show up, and Saul needed to know what to do to fight the Philistines, so instead of waiting, he jumped ahead of things and got into trouble (1Sam. 13:8-14).

David wrote,

(Ps 27:14 NKJV) Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

(Ps 37:7–9 NKJV) —7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth.

If God isn’t giving you an answer, and you are not aware of a sin you need to deal with, then the answer most likely is to wait.

:7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.”

:7 a medium at En Dor

– “fountain of generation”

We could also call her a “witch”.

We know quite a bit about En Dor and who lives there.  Play Ewok Commercial

Our “En Dor” is not the forest moon from the Star Wars movie.  But at least now you know where George Lucas got the name.

Play En Dor map clip.

Endor is actually on the other side of the Philistines from where Saul is.  He has to scoot around the Philistines to get to En Dor.

Saul had earlier made a law against witchcraft and psychics.  Yet now he goes to look for help from the very things he knows is wrong.

Lesson

Stay in bounds

Don’t go outside the boundaries. Isaiah rebukes Israel for doing such things.
(Is 8:19 NKJV) —19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

Why would we seek answers from dead people, when we can seek answers from God?  It’s probably because we don’t like what God says.

Paul warns Timothy about people who don’t want to hear the truth:

(2 Ti 4:3–4 NKJV) —3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

:8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.”

Why is Saul disguising himself?  Probably because he knows he’s doing a bad thing and he doesn’t want anyone to recognize him.

:8 conduct a séance

The Hebrew speaks of “divining” (asking questions) with a “familiar spirit” (demons).  This is done by “contacting the dead”, but is often simply connecting with the demon world.

Illustration

I have a good friend who used to be involved in all sorts of occult/metaphysical things.  Before he became a Christian, he dabbled for a while with this practice of contacting the dead.  He had read books about it and had learned to go into certain states of consciousness where he would make contact with something.  He was fascinated with the power this brought him, especially as these voices began to tell him things.  A lady asked him to contact her dead husband, and in response, the voice told him where the lady could find a certain document that had been lost.  But the next time he tried to contact this dead person, he found himself terrorized and pinned to his bed by some huge, black force.  It scared my friend to death.  This became part of what drove my friend to Jesus.

I’m not going to tell you that the things of the occult (séances, witchcraft, astrology, Ouija boards, tarot cards, wicca, etc) are bogus.  The truth is there is something very real and very powerful involved in these things.  And this is why people are drawn in, because of the power.  But it is all a trap of Satan, a trap that will lead to a life of desperation, fear, bondage, and eventually to hell itself.

:9 Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”

The medium is being careful.  She thinks she may be stepping into a trap.

:10 And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”

Do you see the irony here?

Saul is swearing in the name of Yahweh that he isn’t going to punish this medium for breaking the very laws of Yahweh.

:11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”

:12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”

:12 she cried out with a loud voice

Apparently this “being” named Samuel tells the witch that the man before her is King Saul.

Why did the woman cry with a loud voice?

One suggestion is that she cries out because she realizes that Saul is in front of her, and he could have her killed.
Another idea is that she is experiencing something different than what she normally experienced.  This time it’s real.
Some have suggested that she was a fake, as some are who pretend to do these things.  And when she actually sees something, whether or not it was really Samuel, she’s frightened.
Others have suggested that this woman is used to talking only with demonic spirits, and if this was actually Samuel’s spirit, she’s blown away to see the real thing.

:12 the woman saw Samuel

Is this really Samuel?

There are two possible answers to that question.
Some say no. 
I believe that most of the time that a person is trying to contact the “other side”, what they are contacting is simply demons who pretend to be something.  Demons have been around a long time, know a lot of things, and I don’t think it would be hard for them to tell someone things that are unique or amazing.  Some people have suggested that this being that is called Samuel is really a demon. 
Some say yes.
As uncomfortable as it is to say this, it seems to me that this is exactly what the text is saying.

All through this story, this “thing” is called “Samuel”.  The text itself never gives us a reason to think it is anything but Samuel.

Even though God has forbidden this practice of trying to talk to the dead, this doesn’t mean that God might not have decided to allow Samuel to give Saul one last strong message.

Charles Ryrie:  “The medium shrieked with fear when Samuel himself actually appeared, rather than some spirit that would impersonate him. On this occasion God miraculously permitted the actual spirit of Samuel to speak and announce Saul's imminent death”.

Also, nothing the “spirit” says is not true.  The predictions come true.

Lesson

Praying to dead saints

The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have a practice where they pray to the saints in heaven, asking them to pray for them.
Their thinking goes like this – the book of James says,

(Jas 5:16b NKJV) …The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

They will say, “There is no one more righteous than the saints already in heaven, so we ask them to pray for us.”

The problem is that Jesus taught us to pray differently, addressing our prayers to the Father:
(Mt 6:6 NKJV) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
(Mt 6:9 NKJV) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
In the book of Acts, we have several prayers recorded by the early church, and they aren’t praying to saints, they’re praying to God.
We don’t need any other kind of “mediator” to pray for us.  Jesus is our mediator:
(1 Ti 2:5 NKJV) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
My greatest concern over this practice is that it seems to be contradicting the very things that our chapter is teaching us – that it’s dangerous to try and “contact the dead”.
Saul is condemned for this activity.

:13 And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”

:13 a spirit‘elohiym   (plural); rulers, judges; divine ones; angels; God

I think the idea is that this woman is in some sort of “altered state of consciousness” where she is able to see things, but nobody else in the room can see what she sees.

:14 So he said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.

:14 mantle[email protected]‘iyl – robe; a garment worn over a tunic by men of rank

Even though Saul can’t see Samuel, he bows to the ground anyway, out of respect.

:15 Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” And Saul answered, “I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.”

:16 Then Samuel said: “So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy?

:16 has become your enemy

Pretty heavy stuff to be hearing from Samuel, that God is Saul’s enemy.

:17 And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.

:17 as He spoke by me

Samuel had warned Saul twice that he was going to lose the kingdom.

The first time came when he had not waited for Samuel, but had performed a sacrifice by himself.
(1 Sa 13:14 NKJV) But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart…
When Saul had disobeyed in not wiping out the Amalekites as God had commanded him to do:
(1 Sa 15:27–28 NKJV) —27 And as Samuel turned around to go away, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28 So Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.

It was after this that Samuel would be sent to find David and anoint him to be the next king (1Sam. 16:13)

:18 Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day.

:19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

:19 Moreover …

Samuel will now give two specific prophecies of what would happen.

1.  Israel is going to lose. 
Philistines would win the battle.
2.  Saul and his sons will die tomorrow.

:20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night.

Saul faints because of two things – he’s terrified at what Samuel has said, and he hasn’t eaten all day.

:21 And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was severely troubled, and said to him, “Look, your maidservant has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hands and heeded the words which you spoke to me.

:22 Now therefore, please, heed also the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way.”

:23 But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” So his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he heeded their voice. Then he arose from the ground and sat on the bed.

:24 Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she hastened to kill it. And she took flour and kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it.

:25 So she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.

:25 and they ate

This woman takes pity on Saul and serves he and his servants supper.

Perhaps she is hoping that he won’t change his mind and kill her.

They leave that night, having this terrifying prophecy hanging over them that they will be dead before the next night.

29:1-11 Philistines reject David

Have you ever seen a TV show or a movie where they keep jumping backward and forward in time?  That’s what’s happening here.

We’re now going to back track in time a couple of days, to just before the Philistines arrive up north at Shunem.

:1 Then the Philistines gathered together all their armies at Aphek, and the Israelites encamped by a fountain which is in Jezreel.

:1 gathered together all their armies at Aphek

Play Aphek clip.

We’re backtracking from where we’ve been in the valley of Jezreel.  We’re looking back to when the five lords of the Philstines had rendezvoused on their way north to fight Israel.
Aphek is about halfway between Gath and Shunem.
We’re going to see that David never made it as far north as Shunem, and I think part of the purpose in this is to show that David had absolutely nothing to do with the death of Saul.

:2 And the lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds and by thousands, but David and his men passed in review at the rear with Achish.

:2 David and his men

I wonder what David and his men are thinking right now.  They have never been disloyal to their nation Israel.

They have lied about who they’ve been fighting with, and they are about to get caught in their lie.

It’s kind of like one of those movies where a guy promises a girl to go on a date with her, then somehow has to pull off a date with another girl at the same time.  Sooner or later you know he’s going to get caught.

:3 Then the princes of the Philistines said, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, “Is this not David, the servant of Saul king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or these years? And to this day I have found no fault in him since he defected to me.

:3 who has been with me … these years

David has been living with the Philistines, serving Achish, for one year and four months (1Sam. 27:7).

:4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; so the princes of the Philistines said to him, “Make this fellow return, that he may go back to the place which you have appointed for him, and do not let him go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become our adversary. For with what could he reconcile himself to his master, if not with the heads of these men?

:5 Is this not David, of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?”

:4 he become our adversary

The Philistine leaders don’t trust David and are afraid that David might end up fighting against them to get on Saul’s good side.

I tend to think they are probably right.

:5 …they sang to one another

That old song has come back to haunt David again. This was the song that got Saul jealous of David in the first place (1Sam. 18:7,8).  It was also the song that caused David to not stay in Gath the first time he came to hide among the Philistines (1Sam. 21:11).

Be careful when they start writing songs about you!  Fame is not so glamorous.

:6 Then Achish called David and said to him, “Surely, as the Lord lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight. For to this day I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me. Nevertheless the lords do not favor you.

:7 Therefore return now, and go in peace, that you may not displease the lords of the Philistines.”

:6 as the LORD lives

I find it interesting that Achish is now using Yahweh’s name.

It’s also kind of strange that he is using Yahweh’s name in regards to something that is actually false.  David has been lying to Achish.

Lesson

Is it okay to deceive?

Some would say that David’s end justifies his means.
When David lied to the priests, he got them killed.
This time he lies, gets away with it, and it actually helps him.
Sometimes the stories in the Bible don’t tie up in a pretty bow all neat and clean.
The Bible says:
(Le 19:11–12 NKJV) —11 ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12 And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
(Col 3:9 NKJV) Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
This is just a messy situation.

:8 So David said to Achish, “But what have I done? And to this day what have you found in your servant as long as I have been with you, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

I wonder if David is really serious here.  He sounds as if he’s hurt, offended that the Philistines don’t trust him. 

So far, David hasn’t been honest with them.  The Philistines think that David has been making raids against the tribe of Judah, yet he’s been raiding the enemies of Israel instead (1Sam. 27:8-10).

Is David really sore that he can’t help defeat Saul?  I don’t think so.  I tend to think that the Philistine lords had David pegged correctly.

:9 Then Achish answered and said to David, “I know that you are as good in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless the princes of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’

:9 as an angel of God

That sounds nice.  It sounds as if a pagan man has been impressed with David’s “witness”.  Yet David has not been honest with Achish and David has been living a lie.  Achish has been deceived by David.

:10 Now therefore, rise early in the morning with your master’s servants who have come with you. And as soon as you are up early in the morning and have light, depart.”

:11 So David and his men rose early to depart in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

:11 rose early to depart

God would use the suspicions of the Philistines to keep David from being in a position to have to choose between fighting for Achish or fighting for Saul and Israel.

Lesson

God is not finished

This is a difficult time in David’s life.
He’s been living a lie, telling Achish one thing, but doing another.
And now, just as David is about to get caught into a situation where he is actually supposed to be fighting against his own people, God moves in such a way to get David out of the battle.
I think it also gives David his “alibi” in the death of Saul.
It really was the Philistines who would finish Saul.
You may have felt like you’ve been doing nothing but make bad decisions.  God isn’t through with you. 
This doesn’t give us an excuse to make bad decisions.  But sometimes God steps in and rescues us from our own bad choices.

It’s kind of like how Abigail kept David from killing Nabal and doing a foolish thing.

Paul wrote,
(Php 1:6 NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;