Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away [1 Sam. 21:6].
Although Israel had a God-given religion, and this bread was dedicated for religious purposes, there were some hungry men present who needed food.…
In giving David and his men the bread, the priest was breaking the letter of the Law but not the spirit of the Law. You will recall that the Pharisees challenged the Lord Jesus Christ about breaking the Law (which He did not do). The Lord refuted their accusations by referring to this incident in the life of David. Mark 2:23–28 tells us, “And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
What the Lord was saying in His day was, “If David could do it, and it was all right, there is One here greater than David, and He can do it also.” David ate the showbread because he had need. Christ is saying that human need supersedes all ritual and ceremonial laws.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, ©1981 by J. Vernon McGee.