Saul orders the inexcusable act of murdering all the priests and their families at Nob. A warning to all who allow pride and self-will to get out of control. David's escape; protection of the Lord for David, who trusts God (I Sam. 23:2,4,10-12). David protects the Israelites in Keilah; David will not kill Saul since he is the anointed king.
Verses for Today:
The king sent to call Ahimelech the priest . . . and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king (I Sam. 22:11).
Since the destruction of Shiloh, the priests had kept the sacred vessels at Nob, just northeast and within sight of Jerusalem (Is. 10:32). Ahimelech the priest had given David food and allowed him to take the sword that had belonged to Goliath. This was reported to Saul in Gibeah by Doeg, an Edomite servant. In a rage of anger, Saul accused Ahimelech of conspiracy. Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house? (I Sam. 22:14).
Blinded by jealousy and hatred, Saul ordered the execution of all the priests and their families (22:16,19). But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord (22:17). Without hesitation, Doeg the Edomite . . . slew on that day fourscore and five (85) persons that did wear a linen ephod (priestly garment). Both men and women, children . . . with the edge of the sword. (22:18-19).
Edomites were descendants of Esau and traditionally hated the Jews who were descendants of Jacob. One of the sons of Ahimelech . . . (a priest) named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David (22:20). David knew Saul was determined to kill him, but he continued to pray for guidance (23:10-12).
There are times in the lives of most Christians when everything seems hopeless and we need encouragement about ourselves, our talents, our children, or even our relationship with the Lord. This was also true of David, who received spiritual direction and comfort from Abiathar and prophets such as Gad (22:5).
Like David, we can be confident in the unchanging, eternal Word of God. Our all-wise heavenly father often allows us to experience times of deep distress in order to develop in us a greater faith in Him. He does care, and He stands ready to answer our call for help when we are in submission to Him.
Thought for Today:
We can take comfort in knowing: The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them (Ps. 34:7).
By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Sam. 24:10-13). Christ refused to become King of Israel. When Jesus . . . perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed (John 6:15).
22:4 hold =stronghold, safe place; 22:17 footmen =guards; 22:18 fell upon =attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned =I am to blame for; 23:9 practised mischief =planning to harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand =encouraged his faith; 23:22 where his haunt is =where he is hiding, subtilly =craftily; 23:26 compassed =were encircling; 24:3 sheepcotes =where sheep were kept; to cover his feet =to take a nap; 24:4 privily =unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed =persuaded, restrained; 24:11 skirt =corner.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Ruth Pfeiffer • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. David Wu (OR) • Country: Dominican Republic (8 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Praise and thank the Lord that He can do exceedingly more than we ask or even think (Eph. 3:20).
Optional Reading: Acts 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:9-10