1 Samuel 21-22 – David Escapes Saul
David went Nob to Ahimelech the priest Ahimelech because he needed supplies. The priest was nervous about David being there because he had probably heard about Saul and David not getting alone. Ahimelech questioned David. David was too afraid of Saul to give honest answers. He lied and told him Saul had charged him with a secret matter and he was to tell no one. He told the priest that he was alone and asked him for provision and a sword. David lied because he was not yet able to trust God completely. The priest showed mercy and gave David provisions and the sword of Goliath. Doeg, one of Saul’s servants was there and witness this interaction.
The sword was the sword of Goliath, the Philistine David killed. It was kept there in the temple as a reminder and evidence that God had rescued Israel through David. David handed the sword over to the priests. They considered it a sacred object.
Do you find yourself forgetting about God faithfulness in your past?
How are you reminded of what God has done for you?
Then David fled from Saul and went Gath, which was a Philistine city. Achish, king of Gath was not a friend of David and David became afraid. He should have trusted the Lord, but he did not and devised a plan of his own. He made the king think he was crazy. The king didn’t kill him because in those days they thought it was wrong to kill crazy people. Instead the king sent David away.
David reflected back when he wrote Psalm 34. We learn from this Psalm that God is the solution to our fears. We are to fear God not man. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We learn that the Lord rescues His servants and that He loves us and forgives us when we mess up. We are righteous, but we grow into it on our walk with Him.
David took refuge in a cave of Adullam. This cave was David’s physical refuge, but God was David’s spiritual refuge. There were about 400 men with him. From there David went to Moab. Remember his mother, Ruth was from Moab. He asked the king of Moab to keep his family safe. David hid in the caves and then found a safe place in the forest. He waited for God’s instructions.
Saul continued to pursue David and took his officials to the tree of Gibeah. He throws a pity party feeling sorry for himself. He was blinded by his pride and hatred of David and trusted no one. He rants about how everyone was against him. He said even his own son, Jonathan made a covenant with David.
Doeg told Saul all that was said when David met with the priest, Ahimelech. Saul then accuses the priest Ahimelech of conspiring against him. The priest explains that he knew nothing. Saul finds out the truth about the priest, but told his men to kill him anyway. They refused to kill a priest so Saul commanded Doeg to do it. Doeg killed the priest and 85 others and others in the town including women, children, cattle, donkeys and sheep. Abiathar the son of Ahimelech escaped and joined David.
Pride and self-pity can mess with your mine. We can twist what we hear to suit our needs. Don’t go there. God is in control. Put your faith in Him. He has a perfect plan even though we may not see it at the time.
By David’s lying to Ahimelech he caused his death and the death of his family. We see that lies can be dangerous. David couldn’t do anything about the priests’ murders, but he felt guilty and confess to the Lord.
When have you told God your fears and knew He would help you?
What is your response when misunderstood, gossiped about or unappreciated?
Principle: God is faithful to those who depend on Him.
1 Samuel 23 – God Guides David
When David heard that the Philistines were fighting the people of Keilah, he asked God if he should go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah. The Lord told him to go and David and his men saved Keilah. David consulted God first before moving ahead. He already had trouble with Saul and didn’t need to add to his troubles. Saving Keilah would be dangerous. It would expose David to Saul. But David obeyed the Lord and God blessed him for it.
Saul learned that David was at Keilah and continued to pursue him. Saul was obsessed with killing David. When David learned Saul was after him again, he called on the Lord for help. This prayer is found in Psalm 54.
God provided for David through Jonathan. Jonathan was unselfish. He had the right to be king after Saul’s death, but he gave that right to David. God had appointed David to be the next king. Jonathan only desire was to be his friend and adviser. He encouraged David and promised to be loyal to him and to support his rule as king. They declared themselves to be responsible to God. The two had genuine love and friendship for each other. Their circumstances would change, but their friendship would last forever.
David recalls in Psalm 54 that God is his helper. He sustains him. He is faithful and delivers him.
Principle: God always strengthens those who depend on Him.
1 Samuel 24 – David Spares Saul
Saul just happened to go into the cave where David and his men were. But we know God’s hand was it that. Saul didn’t know David was there. David’s men urged him to kill Saul, but David refused. So while Saul was sleeping David slipped close to him and cut off part of his robe. David could have killed Saul as his men wanted David to do, but David spared Saul because he knew God’s promise that he would inherit the throne of Israel one day. He knew if he killed Saul, he would be disobedient to God. God had put Saul into authority as king and it was God’s job to deal with Saul not David’s. God would do it His way.
We need to learn from David. He resisted the temptation to kill Saul. He was not bitter or angry toward Saul. David was always faithful, obedient and trusted God even in all his troubles. David knew how to wait on the Lord.
The robe was a symbol of Saul’s royal authority and cutting the robe is like cutting away Saul’s authority. David felt badly that he had done anything against God’s appointed authority. David then revealed himself to Saul because he wanted to reconcile with him. David bowed before Saul. Saul could have killed David right there, but David trusted God would keep him safe because he was obedient. He showed mercy to Saul and doesn’t blame him directly.
Saul saw David’s obedience and to the Lord and the kindness he gave to Saul. This softened Saul’s heart, although he never really asked David for forgiveness. He asked David to promise not to mistreat or kill his descendants. It was customary when a new king came to power that all the potential rulers in the family of the previous king would be killed. David kept his promise.
In Psalms 57 and 142 we see that David praised God and asked that God be his refuge. He asked God to rebuke his enemies. David praised God even in his troubles. He had confidence in the Lord. We need to praise God in our troubles and always look to Him as our refuge and our hope. We need to have confidence in the Lord and His plans for our lives.
Do you depend on God when you experience hard times in your life?
Principle: God guides those who depend on Him.
Next time we will continue our study in 1 Samuel. See you here.
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