Summary: How not to be deluded? Reflect and learn, submit to God and persevere. Listen well to what God is saying, through His Word, our loved ones and pastors.
Last Sunday we saw David’s flight from Saul. David set us an example of a man who is after God’s heart. In the midst of his hardships…
• He trusts that God is present and watching over him…
• He keeps up his conversations (prayers) with God, and
• He submits to God’s way, by faith, even though he do not fully understand it.
Today we are going back to Gibeah and see what is happening on Saul’s side.
1 Sam 22:6-8
6 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. 7 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? 8 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."
We see a furious King with a spear in hand – the spear that he used on 2 attempts to kill David, and more recently, his own son Jonathan (20:33).
• He accuses his men. You have all conspired against me. (22:8) You know about David, you know about Jonathan, and none of you tell me.
• Chances are, none of his servants know about this, but no one dares to voice out. No one argues with an angry King with a spear in hand.
1 Sam 22:9-10
9 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. 10 Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."
One man spoke. He’s Doeg the Edomite. This is not the first time we meet this man.
• He was mentioned in 21:7 when David was at NOB and asking for bread from the priest Ahimelech. He is Saul's head shepherd.
1 Sam 22:11-13
11 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. 12 Saul said, "Listen now, son of Ahitub."
"Yes, my lord," he answered.
13 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?"
Did you notice how Saul addresses people he disdain? He never calls them by name.
• He never use the name David, it’s always the son of Jesse. It’s not Ahimelech but the son of Ahitub. To him, they’re unworthy to be called by their names.
• Saul thinks that everyone is conspiring against him. He is blaming everyone but himself, and no one is right except him.
The BLAME game is not new. It starts from Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve sinned. It’s the fallen nature of man.
• To BLAME is easy and cheap, but learn this, nothing good comes out of it. Don’t waste time finding a blame. It’s like you fall into a pit and you blame gravity.
• Saul got himself into such a state because of the choices he made. He is not seeing well because he is pointing fingers at everyone else.
God has given Saul awakening moments (words from prophet Samuel, his son Jonathan, and later on priest Ahimelech) but Saul wasn’t LISTENING.
HOW NOT TO BE DELUDED? REFLECT AND LEARN
Don’t play the BLAME game. When we play this game, we are giving away the power to change. Reflect and learn.
• Saul could not see his own faults and mistakes, which were obvious to many around him.
• The one who blames is depriving himself the power to change.
• “The person who cannot be helped is the person who blames others.”
The priest Ahimelech responded sincerely and in a respectful manner. He gave a very well-reasoned and well-crafted answer, and it’s the truth.
1 Sam 22:14-15
14 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? 15 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."