I’m conflicted reading this text. On the one hand David shows incredible cunning, escaping to the Philistines and concocting the story about raiding
And then there is part of me that shakes my head in disgust. How is David providing for his men? He is raiding and killing innocent men, women and children and stealing their possessions. David and his men are desert pirates and marauders. My disconnect is how do I square this with the 10 Commandments… You shall not murder or steal…?????
And so I sit this morning, God’s word in hand, with a conflict raging in my mind as I try to understand and listen and learn from the Lord. I found no relief through my own pondering alone, so I consulted some commentaries. One older, well respected commentary, Keil and Delitzsch writes this:
From Ziklag David made an attack upon the Geshurites, Gerzites, and Amalekites, smote them without leaving a man alive, and returned with much booty. The occasion of this attack is not mentioned, as being a matter of indifference in relation to the chief object of the history; but it is no doubt to be sought for in plundering incursions made by these tribes into the land of Israel. For David would hardly have entered upon such a war in the situation in which he was placed at that time without some such occasion, seeing that it would be almost sure to bring him into suspicion with Achish, and endanger his safety. … The Amalekites were the remnant of this old hereditary foe of the Israelites, who had taken to flight on Saul's war of extermination, and had now assembled again (see at 1 Samuel 15:8-9). "For they inhabit the land, where you go from of old to Shur, even to the land of Egypt."
One possible resolution to my conflict is that David was marching against people who were raiding
Lord, the KJV version of 2Tim 2:15 says, “Study to shew theyself approved unto God….” The NIV translates it “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman …who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Lord, sometimes to correctly handle Your word, I need more than simple pondering and reading. I need to study it, to dig deeply and learn from those who know far more than I, in terms of history and language of Scripture. Thank You for Your Word O, God. Help me to go deeply into it so that I might know You more and more that I might live more and more faithfully to You. In Jesus name, I pray…