Wednesday, February 22, 2023

David takes the Sacred Bread & the Sword of Goliath

David is on the run! He is in a panic. Saul had tried to kill, pin him to a wall with a spear while he was playing music for him. Then Jonathan David’s friend goes and tries to calm Saul down and make things right. And Saul tries to kill Jonathan too.

So David makes a run for it. His first stop is in a place called Nob, which is very close to the capital. He stops in to see the priest at the temple there. He’s on the run but he has no food.

It says in 1st Samuel 21:1-6, “David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

2 David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

4 But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

5 David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever[b] I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” 6 So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.”

David isn’t really on a secret mission for King Saul. He’s on the run, and trying to get supplies. Maybe he’s hoping if he lies to Ahimelek he can protect him from reprisals from Saul.

But all that Ahimelek has is the bread of the presence. This was sacred bread, special bread, blessed, something symbolic of God’s presence and protection. God is protecting David even through this, and we see even a metaphor of it, in the bread of the presence of God, God is with David as he flees. And this bread is symbolic of God’s provision. He provides for David’s food. And he is keeping David safe.

First point today is this, in your time of need, when everything is going crazy, God will be with you, if you’ve been with Him. Now, that may not be as true if you’ve rejected God your whole life and now suddenly you’re in trouble and start saying God if you get me out of this mess I’ll never do it again.

But if you’re a follower of Jesus, he’s going to provide for you in your time of need. And honestly even if you aren’t a Christian, cry out to God anyway in your time of need, perhaps he will help you, and guide you out of trouble. You never know, then again, you may have to deal with the consequences of your own actions first.

David now has food. But he is still unarmed. He ran away in such a hurry, he doesn’t have much of anything aside from the clothes on his back, and now a stack of sacred bread.

But there is a problem. It says in verse 7, “Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.”

One of King Saul’s closest buddies is there, his chief shepherd, so this may quickly end up getting back to Saul.

But David needs a weapon. So in verse 8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

Point number two, God will arm you with what you need to stand firm. Point number one, God will feed you with what you need to stay strong. Also, he will give us our weapon to fight the enemy. David is now carrying the sword of Goliath.

Today we also are suited up in the armor of God, a gift of Jesus Christ, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the sword of the Holy Spirit, the word of God.

We need all the armor to stand firm against the evil one. And we have it. Because God gives us all we need to survive and prosper and stand firm.

David’s got food and the sword of Goliath, and now he goes all the way to Gath. Gath, sound familiar? Gath is where Goliath grew up.

It says in verses 10 and 11, “That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”

Instantly the King of Gath recognizes that David is the King of Israel. He instantly understands, this is the real King, not Saul, it’s David.

When God has called you to himself, to His service, others will recognize that in you. You will be known as a hero of God. Not everyone will respect it. People may even fear it. But they will know God is with you.

But why did David go to Gath? Maybe the sword of Goliath gave him that idea? Maybe he felt he should go there. Maybe God guided him to go there. But when he’s recognized why Achish the king of Gath, David becomes very much afraid. Maybe he was afraid that Achish might turn him over to Saul? Maybe he had hoped to hide his identity. But then again, he was carrying the sword of Goliath, kind of hard to hide who you are, when you’ve got their greatest warriors sword, from the guy you killed.

In any case King Achish says isn’t this the king of Israel David the hero?

Then it says, verses 12-15: “David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

David then leaves Gath and goes to hide in a cave in Adullam. What is really going on here? Why did David have to pretend to be insane? Perhaps God was helping him to escape. We don’t know for certain.

But third point for today, God will help you in a dangerous situation. He’ll bring you through it safely if you trust in Him. Even if you went to the wrong place. Even if you took a wrong turn.

I’ve seen that time and again in my life. I’ve taken a wrong turn. Ended up in the wrong place. Done the wrong thing. But, because God is with me, he helps me escape the situation safely, even though it was my fault in the first place. That’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

In conclusion today, I do want to draw your attention to Psalm 34, which David wrote about this encounter…

Psalm 34 - Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.