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

 

Nob was located just northeast of Jerusalem and was 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 Goliath. This was reported to Saul in Gibeah by Doeg, an Edomite servant. In a rage of anger, 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 Samuel 22:11). Saul then accused Ahimelech of conspiracy with David. Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all your servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goes at your bidding, and is honorable (respected) in your house? (22:14).

 

Blinded by jealousy and hatred, Saul ordered the execution of all the priests and their families. And the king said to the footmen (guards) that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not show it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD (22:17). However, Doeg the Edomite (without hesitation) . . . slew on that day fourscore and five (85) persons that did wear a linen ephod (priestly garments). And Nob, the city of the priests, he smote with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings (babies), and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword. And one of the sons of Ahimelech . . . named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David (22:18-20). This was one of numerous attempts by Saul to murder David (see I Samuel 18:11,21-25; 19:1,10,11,15,20-22; 20:24-31; 23:11-25; 24:2; 26:2).

 

There are times in the lives of most Christians when everything seems hopeless, as it must have for David who was forced to hide for his life 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 (see 22:5).

 

We can take comfort in knowing: The Angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear Him, and delivers them (Psalm 34:7).

 

Word Studies:

 

22:4 hold = stronghold, safe place; 22:10 victuals = provisions; 22:18 fell upon = attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned = I am to blame for; 23:9 practiced mischief = plotted evil or harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand = encouraged his faith in God; 23:22 his haunt = foot; 24:3 sheepcotes = where the sheep were kept; to cover his feet = to take a nap; 24:4 privily = unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed = persuaded, restrained; 24:19 go well away = get away safely.

 

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 or when the people wanted to make Him an earthly King before His appointed time. When Jesus therefore perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone (John 6:15).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Ilene Wallace · Government Officials: Rep. Tom DeLay (TX) and Rep. David Wu (OR) · Country: South Korea (47 million) in northeastern Asia · Major languages: Korean and English · Religious freedom · 33% Buddhist; 24% Protestant; 22% Confucianism and other eastern religions; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins to the Lord; He is merciful and forgiving (Daniel 9:4-9).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 9

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:15