Summary: david was hungry and scared which caused him to lie
Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel Chapter 21….
We have noted from Chapter 18 of 1 Samuel that David became a well-known hero in Israel after defeating Goliath and many Philistine armies.
We also noted that King Saul was jealous of David. At the end of 1 Samuel chapter 20 David had to run away because the King was trying to kill him. It does not tell us how much time passed from 1 Samuel 20 to Chapter 21 but we will note that David was hungry and was in need of weapons.
Read along with me now 1 Samuel 21:1-9….
And so, David was running away from the King of Israel who wanted him killed. We note in v1 that David went to Ahimelech the priest. Why do you think David went to a priest??
It doesn’t tell us, but maybe David knew that the sword he killed Goliath with was there with the priest. But we do know this, David needed food and he knew there would be bread there! David was hungry! Now David mentions his army, but it is really not that clear if he had an army; remember, he left Jonathan by himself. It’s possible that David lied about the army because, as we will discuss in a moment, David did lie about something else!
Now because we know that David was a godly man, perhaps he went to the priest for safety and advice. David was running away, in hiding, and was looking for a weapon; David went to a priest because he had fears!
We also note that Ahimelech questioned David and seemed surprised, right? There are a couple of reasons why Ahimilech sounded apprehensive of David’s presence; 1. Ahimilech likely has heard that King Saul wants to kill David (note that one of Saul’s servants was there with Ahimilech) and 2. David had to respond to the question (the main point of this passage).
v2: Truth or lie??
David was running away from King Saul who was trying to kill him, not on a special mission!
“Godly” David told a lie! “Godly” David sinned!
And so the question is, why did “godly” David lie??
What David was looking for gives us a clue for his actions doesn’t it? Remember that David was on the run for his life! What was David looking for??
v3-8: David needed food and a weapon!!
David was hungry and scared!
I believe this is the main message of this passage. Fear and hunger can lead even godly people to sin! How can we be confident of this truth to apply to our lives today? Besides God Himself, who else knows about this truth of being led to sin with hunger and fears??
Turn with me briefly to Matthew 4….
Jesus was tempted to sin by the devil with food, dealing with the possibility of death, and the appetite for power! Jesus was just about to start His ministry on earth and He just fasted for 40 days. Jesus was hungry and was going to suffer and die for mankind.
Satan has known man since the beginning of time and the devil knows that man, even Jesus while on earth, is vulnerable to sin when hungry and have fears.
How are we doing with our appetites and fears? Our appetites of course are not just for food. We can be hungry for just about anything these days; and we can allow our fears to get the best of us Our appetites for things and our fears (insecurities) can easily lead us to sin.
Let us note what God said to Cain in Genesis 4:7….. “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it."
We must be diligent in being alert of our appetites and fears! Our appetites (when we covet) and fears alone can be sinful but even worse we can sin even more!
How did Jesus defeat the temptation to sin, even when He was hungry and apprehensive??
Jesus did not succumb to sin because He relied on God and His Word!
David of course lied and sinned as he was dealing with his hunger and fears. But as we follow David, we can note that he learned his lesson in dealing with temptations. God actually used David to write more Scriptures, to help us today:
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters; He restores my soul.