April 8

Read I Samuel 22 -- 24

In Today's Reading:

David's escape; Saul murders the priests of Nob; David protects the Israelites in Keilah; David will not kill Saul

After numerous attempts by Saul to murder David (I Samuel 18: 11,21,25; 19:1,10,11,15,20,21,22; 20:24-31; 23:11-15; 24:2; 26:2), he also struck down Nob, the city of the priests, with the sword both men and women, children and infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep, with the sword (22:19). Nob was located just northeast of Jerusalem, where the sacred vessels had been kept by the priests since the destruction of Shiloh. Ahimelech the priest had given David food and allowed him to take the sword that had belonged to GoliathThis was reported to Saul in Gibeah by Doeg, an Edomite servant. In a rage of anger, the king sent messengers to summon Ahimelech the priest . . . and his father's whole family, who were priests in Nob. All of them came to the king (22:11). Saul then accused Ahimelech of conspiracy. In reply, Ahimelech asked the king, Who among all your servants is as faithful as David?He is the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your house (22:14).

Blinded by jealousy and hatred, Saul ordered the execution of all the priests and their families. Then the king said to the guardsstanding by him, Turn and kill the priests of the LORD because they sided withDavid. For they knew he was fleeing, but they didn't tell me. But the king's servants wouldn't lift their hands to execute the priests of the LORD (22:17). Without hesitation, Doeg the Edomite. . . . killed 85 men who wore linen ephods. . . . However, one . . . escaped. His name was Abiathar, and he fled to David (22:18-20).

There are times in the lives of most Christians when everything seems hopeless, as it must have for David who was in hiding for many years. In fact, we all experience times when we need to be encouraged about ourselves, our gifts and talents, our work, 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).

We have the utmost confidence and comfort in knowing: The angel of the LORDencamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them (Psalms 34:7).

Christ Revealed:

By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Samuel 24:10-13) Christ refused to become King of Israel by force, though the people wanted to make Him an earthly King before His appointed time. Therefore, when Jesus knew that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He withdrew again to the mountain by Himself (John 6:15).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Tom DeLay (TX) and Rep. David Wu (OR) · Country: Uruguay (3 million) on the southeastern coast of South America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 2% Jewish; .7% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to help you teach His word to your children; it will give guidance and instruction as they go through life (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

Optional Reading: Acts 9

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 2:5