David is on the run. Apparently, he left so quickly he had no protection nor any food. David knew he would find help from Ahimelech the priest. Yet we hear that Ahimelech “trembled” when he saw David. We are already starting to see that David is being recognized as a force.
This passage will be one that Jesus calls upon years later with his own disciples to make a point about the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8 and Luke 6:1-5). It was a big deal that the priest shared this bread with David. When this ceremonial bread is removed from the altar, it is usually given to the Levites. To paint the picture, fresh bread will be laid on the altar of the temple every Sabbath. So, the stale bread was now available for the priests on duty, but Ahimelech gave a portion to David (not a priest)!
I understand that this bread was known as the “Bread of the Presence” to symbolize God’s presence with the people while lovingly providing for their needs. When I think of the bread in those terms, I can see how David and his men were having their needs met directly by having the bread itself to eat.
If you wonder who Doeg the Edomite was and why he randomly shows up in this passage, just wait. Remember that he was there that day. We may just see him again.
David also lied to the priest. He was not on official business of King Saul. Rather, we know he is running for his life. Why would he lie? Was it to protect himself or Saul’s reputation?
Our text gives us a glimpse into David’s life. He has apparently made a name for himself already, even before he is the official king. If David thought he could just quietly hide away in the neighboring lands and be safe from Saul, he was finding it a bit challenging.
The people of Gath would be eager to welcome an enemy of Saul. But David was powerful in his own right, so despite the fact he had Goliaths’ sword, he was a bit defensive. Quick witted was he to appear to be out of his mind so that he would not be harmed.
What is God saying to you today through this reading? As David flees for his life, I see how the hand of God is still protecting him. While it doesn’t appear that David has a plan, God isn’t going to let anything happen to him. Do you think David is as sure of this? How sure are you that God is protecting you?
Let’s pray …
Lord, sometimes it’s hard to make sense of what is happening in this world. Help me to stay focused on you. You are my refuge and strength. I want to look to your wisdom to show me the way you have for me. Thank you for how you protect me each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.