Not Caving In
Eternal God, I praise You today as the One whose Word establishes justice and whose might upholds it.
Read 1 Samuel 22:1-23
 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there.  All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.  From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?”  So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.  But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.  Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing around him.  Saul said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?  Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”  But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul’s officials, said, “I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob.  Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”  Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and his father’s whole family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king.  Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” “Yes, my lord,” he answered.  Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”  Ahimelech answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household?  Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”  But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and your father’s whole family.”  Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.” But the king’s officials were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.  The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.  He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.  But Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, escaped and fled to join David.  He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD.  Then David said to Abiathar: “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your father’s whole family.  Stay with me; don’t be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Saul so angry with everyone, especially Ahimelech?
Mid-flight and desperate, David finds respite in a desert cave. Saul zealously hunts him. A dynasty of the Lord’s priests, together with other men, women and children, are slaughtered for associating with him (18,19). Things were surely not as David might have expected. When everything is in a mess it can feel like a lonely, godforsaken place.
God is not ready to change David’s circumstances, but note the encouragement he sends. Members of his father’s household arrive, as do a host of distressed and disconnected people looking to David for leadership (2). In contrast, there is Saul. Accompanied only by officials, he laments the desertion of many (8,13). He can muster but one man to obey his orders (17,18). People sense God has abandoned Saul’s leadership.
David is at his lowest, but he waits for God to act. He remains in danger, but God equips David with a royal entourage including priest and prophet. God could only accept a king who trusted his ways. By chapter’s end, that describes David: a leader of the people—faithful and trusting God.
Who has God recently brought to you to help you? To whom might he send you to help or encourage?
Lord, I’m grateful for those You send to help and encourage me. Show me how to do the same for another.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.