David and his men had not taken part in the battle between Saul and the Philistines, though they had marched with the Philistines to the field of conflict. As the two armies prepared to join battle the son of Jesse found himself in great perplexity. Should he quit the post assigned him and retire from the field with ingratitude and treachery to Achish who had protected him? Such an act would cover his name with infamy and expose him to the wrath of enemies more to be feared than Saul.
Yet he could not for a moment consent to fight against Israel and become a traitor to his country, the enemy of God and of His people. It would forever bar his way to the throne of Israel. And should Saul be slain in the engagement, his death would be charged upon David.
Far better would it have been to find refuge in God’s strong fortress of the mountains than with the avowed enemies of His people. But the Lord in His great mercy did not punish His servant by leaving him in his distress and perplexity. Though David, losing his grasp on divine power, had turned aside from the path of strict integrity, it was still the purpose of his heart to be true to God. Angels of the Lord moved upon the Philistine princes to protest against the presence of David and his force with the army in the approaching conflict.
“What do these Hebrews here?” cried the Philistine lords, pressing about Achish. The latter answered, “Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel,