I Samuel Chapter 21

"Pursuit After David"
"Priest's Help Given [1-9]."
"The Philistines Help in David's Flight 10-15]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

As we saw in the prior chapter, Saul was a man with no principles and no character. Saul's morals were so evil that he set out to murder David. Saul was the leader, the king of Israel, and when the king's morals and character are brought down, so are those morals of the nation. The moment that the nation's morals slip to perversion, or even within the military, that nation will lose it's power and character as a nation.

So we see young David running for his life from this evil king Saul, and he must leave everything he has behind. Yet at the same time, David has the Lord God on his side, and in the end David will come through successfully. God will provide for Davie even when the whole world turned against him. God made promises to David, and David's character will be repaid many times over. God used David to bring "Yashuah", Jesus the Christ into this world. God blesses those He chooses, and Character is very important and we should never forget it.

I Samuel 21:1 "Then came David to Nob to Ahemelech the priest: and Ahemelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?"

When David left in great haste, he left with nothing for his keep. He had no weapon nor food, for David was fleeing for his life. Though David has given up everything, he still has God with him. Though David's life was sought by Saul, his father-in-law, Saul's family was still close to David for he was part of that family. His wife was Saul's daughter and his brother-in-law was David's best friend.

Ahemelech was the brother of the king and also a priest. Ahemelech was a religious leader, and remember that there was a strict separation between church and state at this time. The king had his position ruling over the matters of state, while the priesthood was separate and dealt with the matters concerning the sacrifices and matters laid out by Moses under the law. When David came to Nob, the center for the priests, Ahemelech knew that something was not quite right, for he knew that David was a high ranking official in Saul's government, and even sat at the king's table. Now here stood David before him with no servants, no guards, or weapon.

Under Saul's rule, it had been quite some time since the government had come to any priest to ask for direction concerning the matters of direction. Ahemelech the priest is a little anxious when such a high official of government has come to him for help.

I Samuel 21:2 "And David said unto Ahemelech 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 place."

We see that David will tell three lies in this verse. The first was that Saul did not command David to any of the king's business. Number two was that Saul did not tell David anything, in fact Saul plotted to kill David. David was on the run from Saul. The third lie was that David did not appoint his servants to anyplace, but David left in haste when Jonathan gave the words to run. David was running for his life and he brought no supplies with him for his protection or to eat, and not even a sword or weapon necessary to provide him with food.

In the New Testament Jesus referred to this time, when he was confronted by the scribes and Pharisees concerning his followers gathering corn on the Sabbath. Jesus was saying this to show that everyday was a Sabbath when you are doing God's work. The Sabbath was made for man and not for God. This thing that David was doing is what is called "covert activity", for it was with God's approval.

I Samuel 21:3 "Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present."

David is asking Ahemelech if there is any food there with him, and he asked specifically for five loaves of bread. If there was not five loaves, that he would take what every food he had there with him.

I Samuel 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."

This verse separates that which is carnal or common from that which is hallowed or holy that had been given to God.

I Samuel 21:5 "And David answered the priest, and said unto him, "Of a truth women have been kept out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, thought it were sanctified this day in the vessel."

The vessel talked about here is the oven, and David was very knowledgeable with the law and the things concerning the priesthood. After the oven was filled with the new hallowed bread, the old became common. David is questioning the priest here a little to find out if the new bread was in the oven yet, to where the old bread could be considered common. David is making the priest account for the things of God, and the conditions that are under him.

I Samuel 21:6 "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."

So the priest immediately filled the oven with the new bread, so that the shewbread that was on the table before the Lord could become common, and could be taken by David. Here the priest is helping David in his needs. Though the priest knew it not then, he was standing before and helping the man that the very Son of God [Jesus Christ] would be born through.

I Samuel 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, and chiefest of the herdsmen that belonged to Saul."

While all this was going on between David and Ahemelech concerning the shewbread, a servant of Saul was watching it all take place. This man was named "Doeg" or fearful and he was a very tough individual and the head over all of Saul's herds. Doeg was not of the house of Israel, but of Esau. In Psalms 52, David would later tell of this time. The introduction into that chapter reads, "Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech." David was reflecting back on this time many years after it had taken place. "Maschil" in the Hebrew tongue means "instruction", so there is instruction in this for you and I today.

Psalm 52:1 "Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually."

This is relating to Doeg's treachery against David. In the Hebrew text "Mighty man" reads "gibbor", and refers to the mighty lawless one. Prophetically it is the type of Antichrist. In contrast to Satan the Antichrist, David showed was the goodness, the loving kindness or grace that is offered by our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, the strength that is received by Satan is for a very short time, where as the goodness that God gives is there always. Even though you have lost all your world possessions, as long as you have God, you have everything.

Psalm 52:2 "Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; Like a sharp rasor, working deceitfully."

This malignity keeps on growing in a decietful tongue.

Psalm 52:3 "Thou lovest evil more than good; And lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah."

"Selah" means to stop reading and singing the song for a moment and meditate on the words that have been written. It is the connecting point to those that will be said in the verses to come. David is trying to get us to focus on the deceitful tongue of Doeg, connected with the prayer of the evil that will fall upon him for telling those three little lies.

Psalm 52:4 "Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue."

This is the prayer by David for evil to fall on Doeg for the treachery he showed to David. There is nothing wrong with praying for evil to fall on those that are evil and have no thought of repentance. God doesn't give the evil, and He allows those thing to happen when his protection is lifted from that person, and Satan's evil spirits are allowed to have control over the matter.

Doeg and those with a deceitful tongue find enjoyment in the devouring words of their deceitful tongue.

Psalm 52:5 "God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, And root thee out of the land of the living. Selah."

"Selah". This is another place for pause and a point for meditation. Notice that what David was saying about Doeg is a type of Antichrist in our generation. Because, "taken out of the land of the living", is to have your life ended forever, where even the thought of you will be extinct. This of course comes after the day of Judgment and sin and all evil are in the lake of fire.

Psalm 52:6 "The righteous also shall see, and fear, And shall laugh at him:"

Remember from Isaiah 14, concerning Lucifer, who is Satan, where in the Millennium when Satan has been placed in the pit, men will look at Satan and see him for the man he is, and laugh at him. They walk to the pit and say, "Is this the man that deceived the whole world."

Psalm 52:7 "Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness."

This is direction for you and I, for we are to lean on Christ and depend of the Father to fulfill all our needs. Our strength is in the Lord only, while the wicked put their strength in themselves and their own wickedness and imaginations. Our strength is in the promises in His Word. The only wealth for the wicked is in what he can steal, rob, cheat others out of their wealth. In that Doeg is the head and keeper of Saul's wealth, he is probably also the base root of the evil spirit that possesses Saul.

Psalm 52:8 "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever."

The Olive oil is the oil of God's people, and represents the truth from God's holy Word. It is the oil that we are required to use in obedience to God for the anointing of our households, ourselves and those things of God. The "Anointed One", is the Word for "Messiah", and Jesus the Christ is the Anointed One.

Remember also that the two witness in that last days before the coming of Christ are called, "the two Olive trees", from Zechariah 4:3 "And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof."

Psalm 52:9 "I will praise The for ever, because Thou hast done it: And I will wait on Thy name; for it is good before Thy saints."

Always hold fast to our Father and His holy Word. That is where our wealth truly comes from. Our Heavenly Father owns everything, and when we are in Christ, we inherit all that is His. Ezekiel 44 makes this clear for those that are part of God's election.

Ezekiel 44:27 "And in the day that he goeth into the sanctuary, unto the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, saith the Lord God."

This is the first day from the first day of the Millennium age, starting at the sounding of the seventh and last trump. The sanctuary is where Christ is ruling the world from, and you become joint heirs of Christ's kingdom with Him.

Ezekiel; 44:28 "And it shall be unto them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and ye shall give them no possession in Israel: In am their possession."

When other souls have their small possessions to hold and keep, you as a child of the Living God, and a joint heir with Christ possess it all, jointly with Christ. The inheritance is something that God has offered to you in this life, and you have accepted through his Son Jesus Christ. You have virtually become a member of God's family. So there is no way that you will ever become very poor, when all this is promised to you by God.

Even though David had left everything behind for the moment, in time God will restore it and the entire kingdom over to him and his family. When you have God's blessings than you are rich indeed. The value of this wealth is only only in the minds of the believer, for the unbeliever simply cannot understand where that wealth base comes from, for his wealth is what he can see, touch and understand from his physical mind. So remember what David hung on to and declared in Psalms 52, concerning that moment when Doeg [the form of Antichrist] would come.

I Samuel 21:8 "And David said unto Ahemelech, "And is there not here under thine hand spear of sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste." "

This is kind of getting away from the truth, but the kings business did require haste, for the king had his hand on his javelin, and Saul was pointing it at David.

I Samuel 21:9 "And the priest said, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is 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."

Remember that that sword was David's anyway, and David allowed it to be stored with the priests. David took it from Goliath on the battle field, when all of Israel ran in fear from this giant. This is the same sword that David used in cutting the head off Goliath, and carrying Goliath's head to Saul. David had every right to carry this sword any time he desired.

I Samuel 21:10 "And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath."

Gath was the home town that Goliath came from, and it was here that David fled for his safety from Saul. "Achish" in the Hebrew tongue means "serpent charmer", so why would David go to Goliath's home town and seek refuge from this king called the "serpent charmer"? Remember that the Philistines had great fear of David because he had slain their champion Goliath, yet there was no love at all for Saul at Gath. Though we may wonder, we know that God was in control at all times.

I Samuel 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 in dances, saying,

`Saul hath slaying his thousands,

And David his ten thousands?' "

The servants knew right away the identity of David, and they brought this immediately to king Achish's attention. They knew David and Saul and they knew the tension between the two. Though David was trying to hide out, everybody, even in the enemy camp knew who he was.

I Samuel 21:12 "And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath."

David knew the moment that the people recognized him, that he had made a mistake coming to Gath. God allows great men of history to make mistakes, so that people will see and know them to be men of the flesh. This allows us to see that even though we do make bad judgments at times, and God allows it to happen, God will see us through it all.

All men, even the greatest such as David made mistakes at times. Many Christians today teach that you become perfect when you become a Christian, and there is no allowance when that person does a thing using bad judgment. If your heart is right, God will hear your cry of repentance and see you through those serious times. This act of David's truly was a foolish thing, walking right into the snakes pit, but he will learn from it.

I Samuel 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."

David was acting like a mad man, like he had lost his mind.

I Samuel 21:14 "Then said Achish unto his servants, "Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me?" "

Basically in any period of time, you just don't fight or carry on conversation with a mad man.

I Samuel 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 house?" "

King Achish is asking his servants that are trying to bring David into him; Do you think I want this mad man in my house? The response of this king shows the wisdom of David for even acting the part of a mad man. David will be allowed to leave without harm for the sake of the Philistines not wanting to harm, nor have such a deranged man in their presence.

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