1 Samuel 22
-David departs after having acted like a lunatic before Achish, king of Gath, of the Philistines and escapes now to hide in the cave of Adullam, which was southwest of Jerusalem in the hill country. His brothers and all his father’s household heard of where he had gone and came down there to him. In fact, “Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them.” There were about 400 men who joined forces with David at this time (1 Samuel 22:1-2).
-From there in Adullam he ventured eastward to Mizpah of Moab. He asked the king of Moab to allow his father and mother to stay in their land until he knew what God would do for him. Apparently the king allowed for this as they stayed in security with this people in Moab as David returned to a stronghold position. When there, a prophet came to him by the name of Gad. He warned them to depart from the stronghold and go into the land of Judah, which David and his men did arriving in the forest of Hereth. Not too much later, Saul discovered the whereabouts of his enemy, David, as he was sitting under the tamarisk tree on the height of Gibeah, his hometown, with his spear of war in his hand. All his servants were standing around him and he proclaimed, “Hear now, O Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse also give to all you fields and vineyards? Will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? For all of you have conspired against me so that there is no one who discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me to lie in ambush, as it is this day (1 Samuel 22:3-8).”
-However, Doeg the Edomite now disclosed that he had seen David in Nob coming to Ahimelech to inquire of the LORD for him and give him provisions including bread and Goliath’s sword (1 Samuel 21:1-9). Upon hearing this news, Saul sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest and all his father’s household who the priests in Nob, and they came before the king. The angry Saul accused them vigorously. But, Ahimelech defended the righteous David just as vigorously as a faithful man to the king as his son-in-law who was the captain over his guard and an honored man in his house. He also maintained his own innocence as to knowledge of this whole affair of which he was being accused, which was 100% accurate. But the enraged king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” Saul commanded the guards around him to put to death these priests of the LORD for siding with David and not revealing this information to the sovereign king. But the servants were not willing to go this far against the commands of the LORD. So Saul turned to Doeg, the Edomite villain in this scenario, and told him to attack the priests. Doeg did it, killing 85 priests of the LORD who wore the linen ephod. Not only that, he struck the city of Nob with the edge of the sword, both men, women, children, and infants along with their oxen, donkeys, and sheep. Only one son of Ahimelech, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. He told David all that had transpired in the killing of the priests of the LORD. David had discernment and knew that Doeg was trouble. He knew on the day that the Edomite was there with Ahimelech that he would surely tell King Saul. On so it happened. David sorrowfully acknowledged that he had brought about the death of every person in Abiathar’s father’s household. He asked him to stay with them and be unafraid. Those that sought his life also sought David’s life, but they would surely be safe together (1 Samuel 22:9-23).
-*Application* Saul was an angry and vindictive man. Don’t let anger get the best of us. It certainly does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Self-control and letting the LORD do our fighting is a much better approach. From this event in history we can also see the sorrow that deception can bring to a situation. The men of God paid a horrific price for David’s lies and dishonesty. Another application here is to listen to the prophetic. David listened to Gad and left a stronghold position because he received the word of God from a person. Who knows what would have happened if he would have rejected this word. One final application that we can draw from here is that we must follow the commands of God over the commands of man (Acts 5:29). The servants of Saul rightfully did not attack the priests because they feared God over man, even when he was a king.
Verse to Memorize: 1 Samuel 22:2