When David Pretended to be Crazy –


Easter Sunday, a man named Steve Stephen, walked up to a 74 year old man, Robert Godwin Sr. and shot him dead. He claimed in a video that his reason for killing Mr. Godwin was that he was upset with his girlfriend. The actions of Mr. Stephen are clear that he needed mental health treatment. Mental illness is real and the onus of responsibility on each of us is to take the time to help mentally ill persons receive the treatment they need.

There is a fascinating story in the Bible that talks about David pretending to be crazy. Saul is still king and David is on the run for his life. When he approaches the King of Gath for safe sanctuary, David pretends to be crazy so his enemies won’t kill him.

A friend once checked himself into a mental health facility for 30 days. I asked him later what was it like. He said it was great because once you are in a mental facility, you can say and do anything you want because the staff there already expect you to be crazy. Another friend who was studying to be a psychologist at the time raised the question, “How sane can a person be if they pretend to be insane?”

In any case, mental health is real and you and I should take it seriously when a person appears to be losing their grip on reality.

1 Samuel 21: 12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of King Achish of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them; he pretended to be mad when in their presence. He scratched marks on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Achish said to his servants, “Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?” [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are your thoughts about mental health and faith?
  2. Why do you think David pretended to be crazy in 1 Samuel chapter 21?


Prayer: Grant me a peaceful and calm spirit, Lord. Bless me with a mental outlook that can rise above depression and anxiety. Bless me to have a realistic sense of reality. Help me to feel good about myself and to appreciate the good in others. Bless me today with a healthy mental outlook. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.org


[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Sa 21:12–15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.