Ahimelech Helps David
1 David went to see Ahimelech, a priest who lived in the town of Nob. Ahimelech was trembling with fear as he came out to meet David. “Why are you alone?” Ahimelech asked. “Why isn't anyone else with you?”
2“I'm on a mission for King Saul,” David answered. “He ordered me not to tell anyone what the mission is all about, so I ordered my soldiers to stay somewhere else. 3Do you have any food you can give me? Could you spare five loaves of bread?”
4“The only bread I have is the sacred bread,” the priest told David. “You can have it if your soldiers didn't sleep with women last night.”
5“Of course we didn't sleep with women,” David answered. “I never let my men do that when we're on a mission. They have to be acceptable to worship God even when we're on a regular mission, and today we're on a special mission.”
6 The only bread the priest had was the sacred bread that he had taken from the place of worship after putting out the fresh loaves. So he gave it to David.
7It so happened that one of Saul's officers was there, worshiping the Lord that day. His name was Doeg the Edomite, and he was the strongest of Saul's shepherds.
8David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword? I had to leave so quickly on this mission for the king that I didn't bring along my sword or any other weapons.”
9 The priest answered, “The only sword here is the one that belonged to Goliath the Philistine. You were the one who killed him in Elah Valley, and so you can take his sword if you want to. It's wrapped in a cloth behind the statue.”
“It's the best sword there is,” David said. “I'll take it!”
10David kept on running from Saul that day until he came to Gath, where he met with King Achish. 11 The officers of King Achish were also there, and they asked Achish, “Isn't David a king back in his own country? Don't the Israelites dance and sing,
‘Saul has killed
a thousand enemies;
David has killed
12 David thought about what they were saying, and it made him afraid of Achish. 13 So right there in front of everyone, he pretended to be insane. He acted confused and started making scratches on the doors of the town gate, while drooling in his beard.
14“Look at him!” Achish said to his officers. “You can see he's crazy. Why did you bring him to me? 15I have enough crazy people without your bringing another one here. Keep him away from my palace!”
In 1 Samuel 21:1-15 David’s escape from Saul to the land of Gath put David in the path of danger with King Achish of Gath. King Achish knew David well, as David was the one who killed the Philistine Goliath. Fleeing from Saul put him in the city of Gath: the home of his enemies, the home of Goliath the giant he’d killed a few years earlier.
Did David think they would not recognize him? Was he thinking that his change in attire from a shepherd boy or his maturity would mask the memories of his past? Little did he know that his new reputation of killing Saul’s “ten thousands” would follow him and spread across the land.
Whatever the case, he found himself in an untenable situation that only the hand of God could rescue him from. David wrote Psalm 34 as a reflection of this story when God saved him from King Achish of Gath. “In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles” (Psalm 34:6). Similarly, Psalm 91 has been a comfort to so many people going through times of trial of varying degrees: war, tension, persecution of faith and freedom, personal safety or even emotional distress.
How reassuring that our prayers reach the throne room of heaven. Today God still hears every prayer and answers us when we find ourselves in desperate situations. The cross that Jesus Christ was sent to is the symbol of our escape from danger. And today those who put their faith and trust in Jesus will escape the final fear – the grip of death. God’s ultimate rescue for saving mankind is through his son Jesus. Our prayer of faith and the confession of our mouth that Jesus is Lord is our first step towards peace in every trial.
Thank you that you always hear every prayer. Just as you rescued and comforted David during his trials, please help me as I walk through this difficulty. I need your comfort and wisdom to carry me through. Strengthen my mind and heart so that I may trust and glorify you. In Christ’s name, Amen.