On the Run
April 9 - Nº 99 1 Samuel 21 – 22
Although he was still very young, David’s life was already very full: He had been raised in a large rural family • He had spent a lot of time in the fields taking care of sheep and playing his harp • He had been quietly anointed by Samuel, the high priest, and informed that he would be the next king of Israel • He had been invited to the palace to play his harp in order to calm King Saul whenever he became upset • He had fought and killed the superhero of the Philistine army and become a well-known warrior and leader in the Israelite army • He had married the king’s daughter and become best friends with the king’s son • Now he was a fugitive, on the run from an angry jealous king who was determined to kill him. He was no longer welcome in the palace and couldn’t go to his own home for fear the king would find him. A few of David’s men followed him. The first place he led them was to the Tabernacle. The priest, named Ahimelech, was surprised to see David. “We are on a secret mission for the king,” he lied to the priest. “We left in such a hurry that we didn’t have time to eat, and we are very hungry.” The only food the priest had available was the old bread that had been removed from the Holy Place. Only priests were allowed to eat it. But the priest decided to make an exception—after all, David and his men were starving, and David promised that he and his men had not done anything to displease God. Ahimelech knew that God would want him to show mercy (Matthew 12:1-7). A man named Doeg was at the Tabernacle. He was Saul’s chief shepherd, and he had observed this whole transaction. David asked Ahimelech if he had any weapons he could borrow. David explained that he had left so quickly he hadn’t remembered to bring any along. “I have the sword you took from Goliath,” Ahimelech responded. “You can take that.” David did, and he continued to flee. But people seemed to recognize David wherever he went. One time, he had to pretend that he was insane to escape. People in those days were afraid of anyone who acted crazy. They thought they might have an evil spirit that would get revenge if they were mistreated. “Get him out of here!” the king of Gath commanded, and David fled. He moved his family to Moab. He knew that the king of Moab hated Saul and would protect them from him. Then David found a large cave to live in with his men. Others began to join him, and soon David had a small army of 400 mavericks. Most of them were in trouble or deeply in debt. Meanwhile, Doeg went back and told Saul about the bread Ahimelech had given to David. Saul sent for Ahimelech and all 85 of the priests who served with him. “Why did you give my enemy food?” he demanded. Ahimelech was stunned. He had no idea that Saul hated David. After all, David was Saul’s son-in-law! Saul commanded his guards to kill the priests, but they refused to do it. He turned to Doeg and ordered him to kill them along with everything they owned. Doeg did just that! Only one son of Ahimelech was able to escape. He ran and told David everything that had just taken place.
Are you ever tempted to lie to get out of a tough predicament? David gave in to such a temptation. He lied to Ahimelech, and his lie had terrible consequences. David had a lot left to learn about trusting God and obeying Him in every situation.