1 Samuel 22

1 Samuel 22 is a chapter of retaliation.  David is on the run and has “escaped to a cave” in a different part of the land.  Not exactly a kingly place to sleep, but it was a safe area.  But he can’t stay under cover – even in those days the word gets out.  His family shows up first, and then “everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him”.  He is like a magnet for misfits.  They all come flocking.  That certainly makes it hard to stay hidden.  There are about 400 men who gather and are with him.

David knows he can’t stay put, so he goes to the king of Moab and asks that his parents may stay there in safety. David doesn’t want to endanger the life of his folks, and knows he can’t drag them along as he tries to escape from Saul.  So they are given a place to stay.  Gad, a prophet in that time, tells David it is time to move.  “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah”.  So David heads out with his clan of misfits and of course Saul gets the news.  He knows that David is alive and that people have been assisting him.

One of the kings thugs, Doeg, had been in Nob when David first fled and saw that Ahimelech, the priest there, had given David some bread and the sword of Goliath.  Doeg tattles on the priest and gets Saul all worked up.  So Saul calls Ahimelech to come and give account.  He accuses the priest of helping his enemy and conspiracy and all sorts of crazy accusations.  Of course Ahimelech innocently answers that he had no idea Saul was chasing David and didn’t do anything wrong.  Then he says this, which puts Saul over the edge.  “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house”?

Saul is told that David is the good guy over and over.  His life is filled with people comparing himself with David, and David always comes out on top.  That just doesn’t sit well with the king.  He is self centered and obsessed with that comparison.  So he asks his servants to kill Ahimelech and all those in his house for not letting him know that David was fleeing.  His servants refuse – they don’t want any part of killing priests.  So Saul goes to the thug Doeg and gives the order.  He has no issue with it and kills Ahimelech – “eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod” were killed by him that day.  He then went and killed the people of Nob, which was a city of priests, he wiped it out.  Only one escaped – Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who ran to David and stayed with him.  Saul is going off the deep end in his pursuit of David.


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