1 Samuel 21-22:   “David’s Faith Gives Way To Fear As He Flees To Nob, Gath, The Cave Of Adullam

By

Jim Bomkamp

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1.     INTRO:

 

1.1.     In our last study, we looked at chapters 19 and 20 of the book and we saw that these chapters make the transition into the period of David’s wanderings, and that it was during this time of David’s wanderings that the Lord began to work into his heart the character traits that would make him the king over God’s people that the Lord intended.

 

1.1.1.  King Saul told his son Jonathan and his servants to put David to death.  Then, his son Jonathan determined to intercede with his father on David’s behalf, and he talked his father into vowing not to kill David.  However, before long Saul again became jealous of David as he saw the Lord’s hand on David’s life when David had a great victory over the Philistines.  After this victory, Saul again attempted to kill David with the spear as David was playing the harp for him.  Next, David’s wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, told David of a plot by Saul to kill him and she helped David to escape from his assassins out of a window during the night.  Finally, David came to Jonathan to find out why his father was trying to kill him.  David told Jonathan a plan he wanted him to follow to determine whether or not Saul is now planning to kill David.  The plan involved having David missing during the monthly feast of the New Moon and Jonathan telling Saul that David had asked permission from him to go and to be with his family.  If Saul got angry about David’s being missing from the feast then David would know that Saul intended to kill David.  Jonathan told David that when he found out if Saul intended to kill David that he would come to a certain valley and if Saul was planning to kill David that Jonathan would shoot his arrows beyond the lad carrying his equipment.  However, if it was safe for David to return to the palace because his father isn’t planning to kill David, then Jonathan would shoot the arrows beside the lad.

 

1.1.2.  The carrying out of this plan revealed that Saul did in fact intend to kill David, and so David and Jonathan met up and said there goodbyes, and then David left to begin the period of his wanderings as he would now for the next 10 years flee from Saul like a hunted animal.

 

1.1.3.  We saw that it is during this time of David’s wanderings that the Lord began to kick out from under David every single prop that he might rely upon for protection and help.  The Lord was teaching David that his reliance needs to be upon the Lord and Him alone, and that David was to walk by faith in the promises of God for his life, and not take matters into his own hands and plot and scheme to bring about God’s plans and purposes.

 

1.2.                     In our study today, we are going to study chapters 21 and 22 as David now is in his period of his wanderings and fleeing from king Saul who is chasing him like an animal hoping to murder him at the soonest opportunity.

 

1.2.1.  We saw previously that this period of David’s wanderings which these chapters transition us into occupy a period of at least 10 years.  During this time of wanderings, David is forced to constantly flee for his life from King Saul who is always hunting him like an animal.  David is forced during this time to roam about the country side, live in caves and the forest, and protect and provide for himself.

 

1.2.2.  As was mentioned previously also, sometimes during this period of David’s wanderings we see David living by faith and trusting in the Lord, but as is the habit really with all of God’s people, at other times David’s faith wavers and he does go and take matters into his own hands.

 

1.2.3.  God had more to work into David’s life in preparing him to be king.  Whenever the Lord leads us to wait upon Him there is a very important reason for Him causing this in our life.  God’s work in our lives is to make us into a master piece of His grace not something that is sort of thrown together or half completed, therefore there are many trials, temptations, and delays that we as God’s children must experience in order to become what He has for our lives and as we fulfill the callings that He has for us.

 

1.2.4.  The thing that must have confused and perplexed David most during this time was that everything that he was experiencing during his wanderings seemed to go completely contrary to everything that Samuel had told him about his future and calling as God’s king over God’s people.  He must have constantly asked the Lord, “Why are these things happening to me?”  “And where is the blessing I was promised?”

 

1.2.4.1.      I believe that if we Christians are to think about our own lives for a moment that we might see that our experiences often parallel what David was experiencing here at this point in time, for we too seem so often to experience circumstances contrary to what we believe that the Lord has promised to us as His children.  The Lord too is testing our faith during these times, as He is also molding our character in order to prepare us for the things He has called us to do.

 

1.2.5.  During this period of David’s wanderings he was always writing prayers and songs of worship to the Lord, many of which are included in the book of Psalms.  We will see that David wrote at least four Psalms during this period of his wanderings that we will study today.

 

1.2.6.  During this period of time we will study today, we will see that David’s faith gives way to fear as he begins to look for help in man rather than in the Lord alone, and as he plots and schemes in order to get himself out of situations.

 

1.2.7.  Alan Redpath once wrote about how that Christian growth essentially involves faith in the Lord and His word replacing fear in our lives, “Fear is always the enemy of faith;  this is the battleground of Christian experience.  A man grows and triumphs as his faith overcomes his fear.  To believe God, to rest in the Word of God, to enjoy the promises of God is to conquer our fear.  But to doubt God and to question His motives causes our faith to shrink until literally we cease to be believers—we are believers in name, but not in practice or in action.”

 

1.2.8.  David first flees to Nob where the priests resided and asks for food and weapons from the high priest. 

 

1.2.8.1.      David lies to the priest about his mission and we will see that this lie has grave consequences for it ends up later causing all of the priests at Nob to be slaughtered at the hand of Saul.

 

1.2.9.  Next, David flees to Gath of the Philistines, the hometown of Goliath the giant whom David had slain.

 

1.2.9.1.      We will observe David acting in a foolish way fleeing to the city of the giant he had previously slain, and taking with him the very sword that had belonged to Goliath.

 

1.2.9.2.      In order to save his life David will feign insanity after the king discovers who he is.  Then, the king will send David away.

 

1.2.10.                     David then flees to the cave of Adullam where he hides and a motley crew of misfits begin to join up with them, and in time out of these men comes the finest group of fighting men that Israel ever had assembled.

 

2.     VS 21:1-6  - 1 Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” 2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, ‘Let no one know anything about the matter on which I am sending you and with which I have commissioned you; and I have directed the young men to a certain place.’ 3 “Now therefore, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.” 4 The priest answered David and said, “There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 David answered the priest and said to him, “Surely women have been kept from us as previously when I set out and the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was an ordinary journey; how much more then today will their vessels be holy?6 So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.  7 Now one of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s shepherds. 8 David said to Ahimelech, “Now is there not a spear or a sword on hand? For I brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s matter was urgent.” 9 Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.” -  David comes to Nob and asks Ahimelech the priest for loaves of bread for David’s men and any weapons he might have on hand

 

2.1.                     When David comes to the priest at Nob, the priest senses that there is something that is not right because David, one of the royal family itself and the most famous warrior in the land, has come to him without a royal guard.

 

2.2.                     Somewhere along the line since his parting from Jonathan of the last chapter, David has had a rendezvous with some men who now have united in cause with him.  This is the first unit of the company of misfits that we will read about him assembling in chapter 22.

 

2.3.                     David lies to the priest here by telling him that he is on official business which the king has not allowed him to discuss.

 

2.4.                     What we see happening in these chapters that we are studying today is that David has begun to give into his fear at this point in his life.  Rather than trust his life completely to the Lord to take care of him and protect him, he instead resorts to lying and scheming.

 

2.5.                     David’s coming to the priest here will result in the next chapter in grave consequences for Saul will have put to death all of the priests in Nob along with their women, children, and animals.  David is also going to feel guilty for having brought this upon the people because of lying to Ahimelech.

 

2.6.                     As David is talking with the priest, he notices Doeg, an Edomite man of the descendants of Esau, present there and he knows that this man will let king Saul know that he (David) has been there, and that this will not turn out to be good.  Doeg was probably there with the priests to pay some vow of his own to the Lord.

 

2.7.                     Doeg is called here the “chief” of Saul’s shepherds, however this Hebrew word for “chief” means “strong man,” and evidently Doeg was the main thug among Saul’s shepherds who would exact revenge if any stole or injured Saul’s livestock. 

 

2.8.                     It turns out that the only bread on hand with the priests at this time was the sacred bread that was to be eaten only by the priests themselves.  By the letter of the law this bread should not have been eaten by David and his men since they were not of the priesthood.  We read in the gospels that Jesus used this story to justify His disciples before the Pharisees who condemned them for working on the Sabbath because His disciples were eating the heads of grain as they walked through the grain fields.  It was OK according to Jesus then for David and his men on this occasion to eat of this grain at this time since the men were genuinely hungry and desperate for food.  The lesson to learn here is that God’s ceremonial laws are pre-empted by real human need.

 

2.8.1.  Matthew 12:1-8, “1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry , he and his companions , 4 how he entered the house of God , and they ate the consecrated bread , which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? 5 “ Or have you not read in the Law , that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent ? 6 “But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here . 7 “But if you had known what this means , ‘ I desire compassion , and not a sacrifice ,’ you would not have condemned the innocent . 8 “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

 

2.9.     When David asks the priest if there are any weapons on hand, the priest tells him that the only weapon they have is the sword of Goliah, whom David slew, and that David may take that sword if he pleases.  David tells the priest that he will take this sword since there is no other sword like it.

 

2.9.1.  It is ironic that though once as a mere young lad that David could trust the Lord to give him victory over the Lord’s enemies using just a sling, and in doing so he had slain Goliath, a mighty giant much greater in size than any in Israel, and yet now David is finding security by taking the sword which could not protect the mighty giant.

 

3.     VS 21:10-15  - 10 Then David arose and fled that day from Saul, and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of this one as they danced, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands’?” 12 David took these words to heart and greatly feared Achish king of Gath. 13 So he disguised his sanity before them, and acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man behaving as a madman. Why do you bring him to me? 15 “Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this one to act the madman in my presence? Shall this one come into my house?” -  David flees from King Saul to Achish, the king of Gath of the Philistines, the home city of Goliath whom David had slain

 

3.1.                     David’s rationale is very questionable in these verses as it is obvious that rather than trust in the Lord and look to Him at this point in time that he is responding instead to his fear. 

 

3.1.1.  David is acting here just like all of us Christians when we begin to walk in the flesh instead of the power of the Holy Spirit.  Our decision making process also in those times becomes very irrational and we do many foolish things.

 

3.2.                     Think about what David is doing here for a moment.  David is going not only over to the area of Philistia, the enemies of Israel who could and should recognize him as being the Israelite warrior who conquered their mighty warrior Goliath and brought about the ensuing great slaughter of their people, but he is actually going to the home town of Goliath and carrying with him the very sword of Goliath.  Is he crazy?  What in the world is he thinking?  David acts with impulsiveness and impetuousness in fleeing on this day to Gath of all places...

 

3.2.1.  Before we Christians criticize David too much, we ought first to ask ourselves: 

 

3.2.1.1.      During those times when we are fleshing out, so to speak, as Christians does not our thinking also become irrational?

 

3.2.1.2.      Is it not true also of us that sometimes when we are in our greatest periods of spiritual oppression that we have sought out the comfort of the world, or unsaved friends that wouldn’t judge us, etc.? 

 

3.2.1.2.1.           This is just what David is doing, however he is also risking his life and putting the Lord to the test in doing so.

 

3.3.                     When David realizes that he has been recognized as some of the Philistine king’s servants are saying that he is the king of the land of Israel, the one of whom it is said that he had slain his ten thousands, whereas Saul had slain only thousands, David decides to act like a madman to save himself.  David begins to scribble on the doors of the gate and to let his saliva run down his beard.  How pathetic it is to see our mighty man of faith, the mighty warrior, the man who is after God’s own heart, being so controlled by his fear that he is acting like he is insane.

 

3.4.     We know because of the margins in our Bibles before each of the Psalms that David wrote Psalms 34 and 56 about this bizarre experience of his coming to the king of the Philistines at Gath and then being recognized and feigning insanity:

 

3.4.1.  Psalm 56 is David’s prayer for help during this time, 1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me. 2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. 4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? 5 All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life. 7 Because of wickedness, cast them forth, In anger put down the peoples, O God! 8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. 13 For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.”

 

3.4.2.  Psalm 34 is David’s hymn of praise for deliverance at this time, 1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 O magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. 8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 O fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He keeps all his bones, Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.”

 

4.     VS 22:1-2  - 1 So David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him. 2 Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him. -  Along with David’s family, all of the misfits throughout Israel began to seek out David and they became a company of about 400 fighting men with David as their captain

 

4.1.                     According to Warren Wiersbe this cave of Adullam was a well known place and was located about 10 miles from Gath and 15 miles from Bethlehem, where David grew up.

 

4.2.                     Here in the cave of Adullam, we see that David slips into a period of obscurity, darkness, and humility.  There is a king on the throne in Israel and there is a religion and a religiosity there in the land, however the presence of the Lord is not there it is in a cave with God’s man, God’s king, David.

 

4.3.                     This time of obscurity, darkness, and humility is just what David needed at this point in his life in order for him to be molded into the king that the Lord wanted him to be when he would reign over Israel.

 

4.3.1.  It is the Lord’s desire to bring each of us who are His children to the place where we desire no life apart from living for Him, where we hate sin and love righteousness, and where we have no desire to live one moment that is not lived in service and dedication to our Lord. 

 

4.3.2.  Obscurity, darkness, and humility is a good place for God’s servants to be when He is molding them into the person He wants them to be.

 

4.4.                     This group of misfits in time will be made into the greatest force of fighting men in Israel’s history.

 

4.5.                     As David serves as a type of Christ, this time of obscurity, darkness, and humility which David experienced in the cave of Adullam parallel the experiences of Christ during the period of His incarnation when he was growing up as a child and then as an adult just working the job of a common carpenter and biding His time living in humility until that moment when in God’s perfect timing He would step forth and begin His ministry and ultimately then fulfill His great goal of going to the cross of Calvary as our sin bearer.

 

4.6.                     It has been pointed out that just as David serves as a type of Christ that this group of 400 men that congregate to him represent the church.  Amongst this group are all in Israel who are misfits for one reason or another, and from Paul’s writing 1 Cor. 1:26-28 we can see that we in the church relate well with these men, “26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are.  These 400 men that congregated to David consisted of:

 

 

4.6.1.  Everyone who was in ‘distress.’

 

4.6.1.1.      The Hebrew word ‘matsoke’ which is translated ‘distress’ here means ‘in dire straits’ or ‘in distress.’  All of us who have come to Christ for salvation came as desperate sinners who were under the curse of the law, at enmity with God, and awaiting the wrath of God.  Coming to the Lord though we encountered mercy and the wondrous grace of God which is beyond description.  We were all “prodigal sons” who had spent our inheritance in riotous living but then we came to our senses only after realizing that we were living with pigs and even eating their food.  Then, we returned to our heavenly Father only to find Him with arms open wide to receive us. 

 

4.6.2.  Everyone who was in ‘debt.’

 

4.6.2.1.      We who know the Lord are those who had a great debt of sin, one that was too great for us to ever have been able to pay.  However, in coming to Christ we realized that He interposed and paid that debt which we owed upon the cross of Calvary.

 

4.6.3.  Everyone who was ‘discontented.’

 

4.6.3.1.      This Hebrew word ‘marah’ that is translated ‘discontented’ means ‘in bitterness’ or ‘angry’ or ‘discontented.  All of us who have come to Christ for salvation came to the Lord after failing to find fulfillment and lasting happiness in our life in the world as we were living to fulfill the lusts of our own flesh.  The pleasures of sin only lasted for a short while and what they left in return was a huge emptiness in our hearts, an emptiness that could only be filled by the Lord Himself.

 

4.7.                     From the margins in our Bibles we see that Psalm 57 and 142 were written by David about his experiences while in the cave of Adullam:

 

4.7.1.  Psalm 57, 1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. 2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me.Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. 4 My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows And their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth. 6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They dug a pit before me; They themselves have fallen into the midst of it.Selah. 7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 9 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds. 11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.”

 

4.7.2.  Psalm 142, 1 I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me. 4 Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. 5 I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. 6 “Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. 7 “Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.””

 

5.     VS 22:3-5  - 3 And David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come and stay with you until I know what God will do for me.” 4 Then he left them with the king of Moab; and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 The prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth. -  David takes his parents to the king of Moab and asks him to let them stay with him until David knew what the Lord would do with him

 

5.1.                     This may seem a little strange that David goes to one of Israel’s perennial enemies in the king of Moab, and asks such a question of him, however we must remember that David’s grandmother was Ruth, the Moabitess, and David must somehow have kept favor with the king of Moab on account of his grandmother.

 

5.2.                     We see here the prophet Gad appear on the scene.  He tells David that he must leave ‘the stronghold’ right away in Moab, so David leaves there and heads into the land of Judah and stays in the forest of Hereth.

 

5.2.1.  The prophet Gad will play an important role in the life of David and Israel in the future, and he will now remain with David’s company.

 

6.     VS 22:6-10  - 6 Then Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. 7 Saul said to his servants who stood around him, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? 8 “For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day.” 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing by the servants of Saul, said, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 “He inquired of the Lord for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” -  Saul gives a speech to all of his servants in order to get one of them to come forward and tell him where he can find David, so that he can kill David

 

6.1.                     Saul was truly a tyrant and a dictator over his people.  He ruled his people by fear, intimidation, and bribery. 

 

6.2.                     We have already mentioned that Saul was no longer building God’s kingdom, he was building his own kingdom.  Saul hated David simply because God’s hand had left him and was upon David and because he knew that David would be the next king over Israel.  Saul was determined to establish his own kingly dynasty and was fully involved in fighting God’s will in his life and for the nation of Israel.

 

6.3.                     In Saul’s speech to his subjects notice how he has become a master of psychology and manipulation as a tyrant dictator:

 

6.3.1.  Saul first tells them that if David is made king over them that David isn’t going to give them (fields and vineyards and make them commanders) nice things and do nice things for them.  The only nice things that Saul had done he had done as bribery to win over support from people.

 

6.3.2.  Saul then accuses all of the people of conspiracy for not disclosing to him when his son Jonathan had made a covenant with David.

 

6.3.3.  Saul tries to gain his subjects’ sympathies when he tells them that there was no one who felt sorry for him.

 

6.3.4.  Finally, Saul reveals his paranoia as he accuses David of plotting an ambush against him and accuses the people of not informing him of this fact.

 

6.4.                     We see here now that Doeg, the Edomite, again appears.  We saw him at Nob with the priests in the previous chapter.  He was the strongman or chief of Saul’s shepherds.  Doeg determines that he wants to gain the king’s approval and advance himself in the king’s eyes, so he tells the king of seeing David there with the priests at Nob.

 

6.5.                     Doeg has an agenda of being the hero before Saul:

 

6.5.1.  Doeg stretches the truth when he says that Ahimelech inquired of the Lord for David.  Ahimelech gave David the consecrated bread and the sword of Goliath, but he didn’t inquire of God for David. 

 

6.5.2.  Doeg didn’t mention to Saul the fact that Ahimelech was totally innocent of any conspiracy as he did not know that David was now fleeing from the king.

 

7.     VS 22:11-15  - 11 Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he would rise up against me by lying in ambush as it is this day?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 15 “Did I just begin to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing at all of this whole affair.” -  King Saul summons Ahimelech the priest to come to him from Nob and he accuses the priest of conspiracy against him

 

7.1.                     When Saul confronts Ahimelech, Ahimelech inadvertently begins to commend David and speak of David’s popular acclaim and faithfulness to King Saul.  This in itself induces the king’s anger against him.

 

7.2.                     Ahimelech avows himself innocent of any conspiracy saying he ‘knows nothing of this whole affair,’ as he asks the king to not impute anything against him or his household as a result of his helping David.

 

8.      VS 22:16-19  - 16 But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17 And the king said to the guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the Lord to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to attack the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword. -  King Saul pronounces a death sentence upon Ahimelech and all of his father’s household and commands his servants to slay them, however they refuse, finally the king asks Doeg to slay them, and Doeg is more than happy to do this knowing that doing so he will advance further in the king’s estimation

 

8.1.                     Everything about this trial of Ahimelech by Saul is a farce and illegal under the laws of Moses.  Under the law of Moses in Deut. 24:16, no person was to be put to death for the sin of a family member or anyone else, “16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

 

8.2.                     We see here that when commanded Saul’s guards feared God too much to put to death all of the priests, their families, and enemies.  We have seen that previously in the book of 1 Samuel that Saul’s guards had been unwilling to put to death Jonathan, the son of Saul, when Saul had commanded it.

 

8.3.                     However, Saul knew that Doeg had wanted to advance himself in Saul’s sight and that he would be willing to do this horrible deed.  So, Saul asked Doeg to kill the priests, their families, and all of their livestock, and he was more than willing to do this and killed them all, including 85 priests who wore the ephod.   

 

9.     VS 22:20-23  - 20 But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household. 23 “Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are safe with me.” -  Abiathar, the son of Ahimelech, alone escaped the slaughter of the priests at Nob, and he came and reported to David what Doeg the Edomite had done

 

9.1.                     Abiathar had escaped the slaughter of all of the priests and all they possessed at Nob, and now we see that David offered to him asylum to live among David and his army of 400 men.  Ahitub would be handy to have around for David would need a priest to inquire of God for him with the ephod.

 

9.2.                     We see here that David feels guilty for the slaughter of the priests at Nob.  If David had not come to the priests and deceived Ahimelech about the business that he (David) had come for, then David felt that Saul would not have ordered the priests and all that they possessed to be destroyed.

 

9.2.1.  We Christians need to consider that there are consequences for our lives whenever we choose to not walk by faith and obedience to the Lord but give in to our fears.  People’s lives around us will be affected and many times people will stumble in their faith and we will not be able to repair the damage that has been done.  This happens a lot.  I have seen so many times the hurt that has occurred in a Christian parent’s life when his/her son or a daughter has stumbled in his/her faith in the Lord as a result of the backslidings of their parent.


 

10.            CONCLUSIONS:

 

10.1.                Today, as we consider the life of David in these two chapters we see him fleeing from King Saul who was hunting him like an animal, and we see that David got his eyes on his circumstances and thus listened to his fears rather than trusted in the Lord.  David lied and schemed to protect himself and foolishly acted like a madman who was insane before the king of the Philistines, and, all this all happened because David had given into his fears.   Had David taken his eyes off of his circumstances and placed his eyes upon the Lord and His promises, as he did on that day when he conquered Goliath the giant, then he would have seen and known that He could trust in the Lord and his fear would have given way to faith, and, he would have walked in obedience to the Lord.

 

10.1.1.                     Have you taken your eyes off of the Lord and placed your eyes on your circumstances and thus given into fear in any area of your life? 

 

10.1.2.                     Have you found yourself compromising your Christian testimony and maybe scheming to protect yourself from your circumstances, rather than just trusting the Lord with everything in your life?

 

10.1.3.                     I ask you today to doubt your fears and trust in the Lord and vow that by faith you will choose to view your circumstances only through eyes that are kept upon the Lord and His abilities and provisions for your life.

 

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