Summary: How do we keep from damaging our integrity when trouble comes our way? David shows us.


1 Samuel 21:1-15

1 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, "Why are you alone, and no one is with you?"

2So David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, 'Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.' And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.

3Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found."

4And the priest answered David and said, "There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women."

5Then David answered the priest, and said to him, "Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was sanctified in the vessel this day."

6So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.

7Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

8And David said to Ahimelech, "Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste."

9So the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here." And David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."

10Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

11And the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: 'Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands'?"

12Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

13So he changed his behavior before them, feigned madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. 14Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me?

15Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?"

As we pick up the story of David's life this morning

we find him on the run.

It's clear now that King Saul intends to kill him.

David has lost his place in the royal court.

He has lost his wife Michal

and he has lost touch with his close friend Jonathan

Fearing for his life, David flees to the wilderness.

There David makes 3 dreadful choices.

Choice #1. David lies to the Priest.

David left the royal courts so quickly

that he did not take any food or weapons with him.

So he travels to the city of priests, Nob,

where 86 priests and their families lived.

When David approached Ahimelech the priest, trembled.

Ahimelech was obviously afraid.

Perhaps he knew David was a fugitive.

He was also suspicious since David was traveling alone.

Verse 5 indicates it was the Sabbath,

which meant he shouldn't have been traveling at all.

How does David explain himself to the priest?

David tells Ahimelech that he is on a secret mission for King Saul

and he cannot discuss the nature of that mission.

David's men are waiting in another location.

So David needs some kind of food.

Ahimelech says the only foo available is holy bread --

that is, bread which is dedicated to the LORD.

This bread sat on a table for 7 days

and then is eaten only by priests.

Breaking the rules slightly

the priest gives David this bread,

because David has assured him he is working for the king.

Next David asks for a weapon of some sort.

The sword of Goliath has been stored here

and has been dedicated to the LORD.

Ahimelech gives David this sword

and David leaves.

David does NOT sin

by eating bread reserved for God and his priests.

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