SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1 Samuel 21:1-22:2321:1 (21:2) David went to Ahimelech the priest in Nob. Ahimelech was shaking with fear when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you by yourself with no one accompanying you?” 2 David replied to Ahimelech the priest, “The king instructed me to do something, but he said to me, ‘Don’t let anyone know the reason I am sending you or the instructions I have given you.’ I have told my soldiers to wait at a certain place. 3 Now what do you have at your disposal? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever can be found.”
4 The priest replied to David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread at my disposal. Only holy bread is available, and then only if your soldiers have abstained from relations with women.” 5 David said to the priest, “Certainly women have been kept away from us, just as on previous occasions when I have set out. The soldiers’ equipment is holy, even on an ordinary journey. How much more so will they be holy today, along with their equipment!”
6 So the priest gave him holy bread, for there was no bread there other than the Bread of the Presence. It had been removed from before the Lord in order to replace it with hot bread on the day it had been taken away. 7 (One of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, who was in charge of Saul’s shepherds.) 8 David said to Ahimelech, “Is there no sword or spear here at your disposal? I don’t have my own sword or equipment in hand due to the urgency of the king’s instructions.”
9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the valley of Elah, is wrapped in a garment behind the ephod. If you wish, take it for yourself. Other than that one, there’s no sword here.” David said, “There’s nothing like it. Give it to me.” 10 So on that day David arose and fled from Saul. He went to King Achish of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one that they sing about when they dance, saying,
“‘Saul struck down his thousands,
but David his tens of thousands’?”
12 David thought about what they said and was very afraid of King Achish of Gath. 13 He altered his behavior in their presence. Since he was in their power, he pretended to be insane, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting his saliva run down his beard.
14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at this madman! Why did you bring him to me? 15 Do I have a shortage of fools so that you have brought me this man to display his insanity in front of me? Should this man enter my house?”
22:1 So David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his father’s family learned about it, they went down there to him. 2 All those who were in trouble or owed someone money or were discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. He had about 400 men with him.
3 Then David went from there to Mizpah in Moab, where he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother stay with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So he had them stay with the king of Moab; they stayed with him the whole time that David was in the stronghold. 5 Then Gad the prophet said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Go to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
6 But Saul found out the whereabouts of David and the men who were with him. Now Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree at an elevated location with his spear in hand and all his servants stationed around him. 7 Saul said to his servants, “Listen up, you Benjaminites! Is Jesse’s son giving fields and vineyards to all of you? Or is he making all of you commanders and officers? 8 For all of you have conspired against me! No one informs me when my own son makes an agreement with the son of Jesse. Not one of you feels sorry for me or informs me that my own son has commissioned my own servant to hide in ambush against me, as is the case today!”
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who had stationed himself with the servants of Saul, replied, “I saw this son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob. 10 He inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions. He also gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11 Then the king arranged for a meeting with the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and all the priests of his father’s house who were at Nob. They all came to the king. 12 Then Saul said, “Listen, son of Ahitub.” He replied, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and this son of Jesse? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God on his behalf, so that he opposes me and waits in ambush, as is the case today!”
14 Ahimelech replied to the king, “Who among all your servants is faithful like David? He is the king’s son-in-law, the leader of your bodyguard, and honored in your house. 15 Was it just today that I began to inquire of God on his behalf? Far be it from me! The king should not accuse his servant or any of my father’s house, for your servant is not aware of all this—not in whole or in part!”
16 But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house!” 17 Then the king said to the messengers who were stationed beside him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, for they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, but they did not inform me.” But the king’s servants refused to harm the priests of the Lord.
18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests!” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests. He killed on that day 85 men who wore the linen ephod. 19 As for Nob, the city of the priests, Doeg struck down men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep—all with the sword.
20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub escaped and fled to David. His name was Abiathar. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew that day when Doeg the Edomite was there that he would certainly tell Saul! I am guilty of all the deaths in your father’s house. 23 Stay with me. Don’t be afraid. Whoever seeks my life is seeking your life as well. You are secure with me.”