1 Samuel 19-21

Costly Lies

As we continue in 1 Samuel 19 we read that King Saul is out to kill David and his wife, the king’s daughter, who helps him escape. When King Saul finds out what his daughter has done he confronts her and she tells her father that David threatened to kill her if she didn’t help him escape. Although this lie worked for her in the short term it gave King Saul a reason to go after David. He will be able to use this threat to not only validate his pursuit, but also to gain the support of the people and make David the enemy.

In verses 18-24 we read that David flees to Ramah where Samuel is staying. When Saul hears about it he sends men to bring David back but the men end up prophesying instead. Saul does this three times and each time results in the men prophesying. Finally Saul travels to Ramah planning to capture David himself, but he too ends up prophesying, and David escapes.

God’s ways are not our ways. This is a lesson David is going to have to learn as do we. God miraculously delivered David from Saul but he is still trusting in himself and others, so he runs to Jonathan to try to find out why Saul was trying to kill him. Johnathan does not realize that the Spirit had departed from Saul and can’t believe Saul is trying to kill David, so David makes a plan to find out why. At the New Moon Feast the truth comes out. David escapes to Nob but Jonathan remains with his father.

At Nob David again resorts to a lie to aid in his escape in Chapter 21. Ahimelech the priest apparently is aware that David is a wanted man and came trembling to David. David tells Ahimelech that he and his men are on an urgent mission for the King and had to leave so quickly they did not take their weapons or provisions. None of this is true but this is what happens when one trusts in a lie rather than the truth. Sooner or later the stories make no sense. Ahimelech does give David the consecrated bread and the sword of Goliath, whom David had killed earlier in battle, and he continues to run from King Saul. 

It is no accident that the only bread available was the consecrated bread. This bread represents the Word of God the nation of Israel was to bring to the world. In John 17:17, Jesus said that God’s Word is truth.  He prayed for His disciples that they would be set apart from the world by the truth. In John 8 Jesus said that it is the truth of God that will set us free. David is not free yet. He is still trusting in lies, but that will soon change. David took the bread and the sword of Goliath and ran to, of all places, Goliath's home town! He is not there long before he realizes he has made a big mistake and makes his escape to the cave of Adullam.

When David’s family hears he is at the cave they go to him along with about four hundred men who are in struggles of their own.  It is said that the way to keep a young man’s feet on the ground is to put responsibility on his shoulders. This seems to be the case here. All of a sudden David is not alone. He is surrounded with people he will be responsible for. From the cave David heads east and seeks out protection for his family while he seeks the leading of the Lord. God sends a prophet that sends him back to Judah. This is a turning point. What David has been doing according to his plan has not been working. It is time to seek and listen to the Lord.  David describes the process he went through in Psalms 34 and 142.

We are not immune from doing these same types of things. God’s plan is for David to be a leader and king, but before he can be a leader he had to be willing to be led. God has a plan for our lives as well, but before He can implement His plan we too must be willing to be led by God.  This may mean we need to come to the end of ourselves and our resources before we will turn to God and listen to Him. It is not that God is not with us during the difficult times, He is, but we are blinded to His presence when our focus is on ourselves and our problems.

Sometimes we just need to stop, look, and listen, or as Jesus put it, ask, seek, and knock in Matthew 7:7.

Focus on God and cast your problems on Him. Proverbs 12:25; Philippians 4:6&7; 1 Peter 5:7

In Psalms 34 and 142 David shows us how he did it.

Pastor Dave