I Samuel Chapter
Memory verses for this week:
Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD,
and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his
transgression, and to Israel his sin.
Introduction: We continue
our study on Samuel this week. In last weekís lesson, we studied
about the protection that Jonathan brought to David. He determined
what King Saulís plans were and then came and gave instructions by a
code when he shot three arrows into the field. Jonathan realized his
father intended to kill David, and sent David away to wander for
several years before he took the throne as king of Israel.
Flees to Ahimelech
21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech
was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou
alone, and no man with thee?
21:2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath
commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any
thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have
commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a
flight from Saul, he first came to Nob. This was the city were the
tabernacle was set up. The priest in charge was still under the
leadership of Ahimelech who was of the line of Eli. Because of this,
this priest was not actually recognized by the Lord. Ahimelech is
fearful of David because he came alone. When Ahimelech asked him why
he was alone, he told him a lie and said that he was there for the
king, taking care of some business. This was a lie, and breaks one
of the ten commandments.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
claimed to be on urgent business for the king. He also told the
priest that he had sent servants to a place where they were to meet.
In Ecclesiastes, it says that two are better than one, and this can
be true in a large number of situations.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him
that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a
threefold cord is not quickly broken.
21:3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of
bread in mine hand, or what there is present.
21:4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common
bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men
have kept themselves at least from women.
hungry from his journey, and asks the priest for five loaves of
bread. He tells David that there is no common bread available. All
that was there was the 12 loaves that were dedicated on the table of
showbread. Those 12 loaves were kept on the table that was in the
holy place of the tabernacle. These were being replaced with fresh
bread, and the priest tells him that he and his men could have it if
they met certain qualifications.
21:5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth
women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came
out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in
a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the
21:6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread
there but the showbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put
hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
assured the priest that the men were undefiled and could receive the
bread appropriately. The priest believes David and gives the bread
to him as he requested. Jesus referred to this account when he was
defending the disciples for taking grain and rubbing it out on the
But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was
an hungred, and they that were with him;
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread,
which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were
with him, but only for the priests?
referred to the young men as vessels that were holy. Christians that
know Jesus as Lord and Savior are vessels mete for the masterís use.
2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a
vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and
prepared unto every good work.
We are so
blessed when we know Christ as our Lord and Savior. It talks about
this treasure weíve been given in our earthen vessels.
2 Cor 4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath
shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Cor 4:7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of
the power may be of God, and not of us.
Henry said that God did not condone Davidís false tales.
pretence of being sent by Saul upon public services, solicits
Ahimelech to supply his present wants, v. 2, 3.
Here David did not behave like
himself. He told Ahimelech a gross untruth, that Saul had
ordered him business to dispatch, that his attendants were
dismissed to such a place, and that he was charged to observe
secrecy and therefore durst not communicate it, no, not to the
priest himself. This was all false. What shall we say to this?
The scripture does not conceal it, and we dare not justify it.
It was ill done, and proved of bad consequence; for it
occasioned the death of the priests of the Lord, as David
reflected upon it afterwards with regret, ch. 22:22. It was
needless for him thus to dissemble with the priest, for we may
suppose that, if he had told him the truth, he would have
sheltered and relieved him as readily as Samuel did, and would
have known the better how to advise him and enquire of God for
him. People should be free with their faithful ministers. David
was a man of great faith and courage, and yet now both failed
him, and he fell thus foully through fear and cowardice, and
both owing to the weakness of his faith. Had he trusted God
aright, he would not have used such a sorry sinful shift as this
for his own preservation. It is written, not for our imitation,
no, not in the greatest straits, but for our admonition. Let him
that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall; and let us all
pray daily, Lord, lead us not into temptation. Let us all take
occasion from this to lament, (1.) The weakness and infirmity of
good men; the best are not perfect on this side heaven. There
may be true grace where yet there are many failings. (2.) The
wickedness of bad times, which forces good men into such straits
as prove temptations too strong for them. Oppression makes a
wise man do foolishly.
21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day,
detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the
chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.
21:8 And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under
thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor
my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.
21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom
thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a
cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there
is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that;
give it me.
of Saul, Doeg, the Edomite, was listening to the conversation
between David and Ahimelech. This man was a servant of Saul and was
over his herdmen. David now asks Ahimelech if he could supply him
with a sword or spear. He lies again and says that he failed to
bring a sword or any weapon due to the kingís business requiring
haste. The priest says that there was a sword there, the sword of
Goliath whom David slew earlier. In our Christian lives, we need to
be sure to put on the whole armour of God.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against
the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness
of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having
on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which
is the word of God:
there truly was no justification in David telling the lies he told.
Probably, it all comes back to a lack of faith at this time. In our
walk here on earth, we will have times of great faith as David had
exemplified in his willingness to take on Goliath. Then when life
beats us down as it had with Saulís oppression, we have moments
where we are not so strong. We must turn back to God in that hour
and seek Godís face that he might give us more faith.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying
of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was
not found, because God had translated him: for before his
translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek him.
David was aware of Godís protecting hand upon his life as he
delivered him three times from Saul. Also, God gave him a friend he
could truly depend on in Jonathan. All good gifts in this life come
McGee had some good points about how we need to not hurry in haste
to do Godís work. We need to be slow and steady just as the pace God
Now I would
like to call your attention to the way that last clause is
misquoted. I have heard it said that certain things should be done
for the Lord and done quickly because ďthe Kingís business requires
haste.Ē To begin with, letís understand what David is actually
saying. He does not have a sword or a spear because he had to leave
in a hurry. Also David is not on a mission for his kingóhe is
I am here to
say that the Kingís business does not require haste. Have you ever
noticed how patiently God works? He is going to work that way in the
life of David. David is going to be schooled and trained in the
caves of the earth. That is Godís method. God is in no hurry. Moses
was in a hurry, and he wanted to deliver the children of Israel
forty years before God was ready. Moses was not ready either. God
put him out in the desert and trained him and schooled him for forty
years until he was ready. God brought His Son into the world
thirty-three years before He went to the Cross! The thing that marks
the work of God is not haste but the fact that He works slowly and
patiently. Oh my, how impatient we become! I am sure my wife would
say, ďYes, and you are not the one to talk to people about patience
because you are a very impatient man.Ē That is true, I am impatient.
I am trying, now that I am retired, to learn the art of waiting
before the Lord. That is something we all need to learn. David
needed to learn it too. God has had to train His men like that. God
has had to teach patience to every man He has ever used. God moves
and works slowly. If you want to see the way He moves, look how long
it takes Him to make a diamond or a redwood tree. Godís work does
not require haste, friends. That is not Godís method.
David is saying something in this
chapter that is not true, as the context reveals. David was not on a
mission for the king, and ďthe kingís business requires hasteĒ is in
no way applicable to Christian work. .
David Flees Gath
21:10 And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went
to Achish the king of Gath.
21:11 And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David
the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in
dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten
21:12 And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore
afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
fled the country, he head to the leading city of his old enemies the
Philistines. Davidís reputation preceded him, and he was not well
received. The counselors of Achish, king of Gath, told him of the
song that the women sang about Saul slaying his thousands while
David slew ten thousands. When David heard this, he realized his
life could be in danger. Going to this place showed a lack of faith
on Davidís part. We need to realize that the tougher the going gets,
the slower and more direct we need to follow Godís directions. Human
nature wants us to jump out and do something great to change our
circumstances sometimes, when most of the time, being very quiet and
listening to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit is what we
should do. God will never leave us nor forsake us, and His guidance
will never lead us wrong. Our own desires and direction can lead us
down a primrose path. But the Holy Spirit guides us in the perfect
paths that always lead us to the best and the righteous way.
21:13 And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself
mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let
his spittle fall down upon his beard.
he must do something to save his life, and begins to act like a mad
man and let the spittle fall down on his beard. He deceives them
into thinking that he has lost his mind. He acts like a crazy man
and scratches at the door like a dog and lets the spittle run down
on his beard. When you get out of Godís perfect will for your life,
you can do some really strange things when you are letting yourself
guide you. This was a shameful way for the future king of Israel to
act, and it was David guiding himself to do this. We certainly donít
see him praying or seeking Godís will at this certain time of his
life. Perhaps he doubted God could protect him from these
Philistines, but how many times in the past had God done that very
21:14 Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad:
wherefore then have ye brought him to me?
21:15 Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to
play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my
Achish responds by rebuking the men
for bringing David to his court. He tells them that he had no need
for a mad man. David remembered this account when he wrote the 34th
Psalm. It says in verse 1 ďWhen he changed his behavior before
Abimelech; who drove him away and he departed.Ē I want to read the
first nine verses of that Psalm, and Iíll let you determine whether
David learned anything from his mistake or not.
A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech;
who drove him away, and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all
times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear
thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of
all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that
trusteth in him.
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that
David learned much from walking on his own. He learned to fear God
and seek his face when troubles come our way. David called King
Achish, ďKing AbimelechĒ which was a title often used for Philistine
kings. We can see from the verses that we read that David repented
of his wrong and his lack of faith. He said he would bless the Lord
at all times.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day.
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