David’s band is on the run. He has a loyal group of fighting men and they are trusting the Lord to provide for them. When they get to Nob God provides a sympathetic priest who gives them bread that it is not lawful to eat. This provision is so unusual that Jesus uses it as an example that the needs of people take precedence over the keeping of ceremonial laws.
Secondly David ends up in the land of his enemies and God provides for him there. Wherever David goes God provides what is needed to fulfil his plan for the man after his heart. This raises two questions for us. Are we working out God’s plan for the world during our little appearance on earth? Are we pursuing God: are we people after his own heart?
1 Samuel 21
1 [a]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. 3Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4But 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!” 6So 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.
7Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.
8David 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.”
9The 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.”
David at Gath
10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11But 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’?”
12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13So 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?”
- To which two locations did David flee?
- How did God provide for David at each location?
- How is God’s provision for David unusual?
- Are you in danger emotionally or physically in any way?
- How could God use the emotional or physical threat?