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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings

(1) Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel. (2) And the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: but David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish. (3) Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day? (4) And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? (5) Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands? (6) Then Achish called David, and said unto him, Surely, as the LORD liveth, thou hast been upright, and thy going out and thy coming in with me in the host is good in my sight: for I have not found evil in thee since the day of thy coming unto me unto this day: nevertheless the lords favor thee not. (7) Wherefore now return, and go in peace, that thou displease not the lords of the Philistines. King James Version

In verse 4, the word "reconcile" is ratsah, meaning "to be pleased with, to accept, to favor, to satisfy." The Philistine princes themselves specified what David would have to do to be acceptable to Saul, to regain his favor: He would have to change sides in the middle of the battle. Once he did that, he and his men could slay a large number of the Philistines in a kind of sacrifice to Saul—to show Saul that he, David, was on his side and therefore should be accepted.

So, David would have to make a sacrifice. He would 1) have to turn traitor, 2) have to slay a lot of Philistines, and 3) have to put his own life on the line. In reality, if he would have done this, he would have made himself unacceptable to either side! He would have sacrificed just about everything. This was one reconciliation that David did not want to do! Even though he argued a little bit with Achish to reinforce his cover, saying, "I don't want to return. I want to stay here with you," he and his men went back to the land of the Philistines and did not fight in that battle.

Even in a case like this, some sort of sacrifice would have to be made to bring about reconciliation. Sometimes the sacrifice that is made has consequences itself. We have to make sure that the sacrifice that we make to reconcile with another will not put us into deeper water with God. So when we consider reconciliation, we must think deeply about it; it is not something we should do carelessly or automatically. We must really take the matter to heart to understand fully what we are doing. We have to try to predict what will happen as a result, so that it does not cause greater problems down the road. Reconciliation is not an easy subject and often not easy to do.

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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