That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”
David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?” 1 Samuel 21:10-15
Saul had a manhunt out for David. He was searching high and low for him because David was the king selected by God to replace Saul. In his rage, Saul put out an APB and a BOLO on David. He probably had offered a reward for David’s capture or death. David was a wanted man. Wanted: Dead or alive.
While running and hiding from Saul he comes to Gath to seek refuge but David is afraid that Achish, the king of Gath, will capture him and turn him over to Saul. Achish probably didn’t know why Saul wanted David captured. Then a thought occurs to David.
David fakes insanity at Gath and Achish wants nothing to do with a mentally impaired person. He has other more pressing matters to attend to. This gives David the opportunity to leave the area evading capture.
After all this happens, David sits down and writes a Psalm about the events of the day. He doesn’t take credit for his cunning plan but rather praises God for saving him from capture. David recognizes that the thought that was put in his head was not of his own making but that God put it there. David gives credit to God, as well he should, and as well we should.
1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. Psalm 34:1-16
Although Saul intended to harm David, David never lashed out at him or tried to harm him in any way. In David’s mind, Saul was his enemy but he refused to be Saul’s enemy. Even though David had several opportunities to kill Saul, he never did. David was righteous in the eyes of God and God watched over him and heard his cry for help. It was God that put the idea of feigning insanity in his head and David knew it.
If you are going through a difficult situation and your life is in tune with God, He will give you a way out. Sometimes a friend might suggest a course of action that you had not considered. Other times an idea will pop into your head that will remedy the situation. At that time, you need to recognize the source of the idea. Even though you may think that you came up with it, it was God that made it so that you would have that thought. All of the events, experiences, and lessons learned throughout your life have been orchestrated by God for just such a time as this. It is God, in his omniscience, sovereignty and, most importantly, love for you, that provided all of that so that the solution would be available to you.
David gave God the glory and the credit for getting out of this tough situation. We need to do likewise, recognizing that it is God who is in control of every situation and depending upon Him for getting out of a bind. So, give credit where credit is due; and it always is due to God.