"Snippets" from David

"Lord, Why Cite That Incident?"

On Davidís first escape from King Saul (1 Samuel 21), he left empty-handed. As he escaped, he stopped at Nob (a city of priests) for provisions and a weapon. He escaped so quickly that he took nothing with him. Since food was prepared from raw ingredients and weapons were difficult to obtain, David asked Ahimelech [a priest] for both. In a failed effort, he tried to protect Ahimelech and Nob from King Saulís wrath (1 Samuel 22:20-23). He told Ahimelech that he was on urgent business for the king and left too quickly to prepare for the trip. Though Ahimelech was suspicious and nervous (1 Samuel 21:1), he gave David the bread of presence and Goliathís sword. He gave David the bread of presence because there was no ordinary bread available.

Leviticus 24:5-9 gave regulations for making and using the bread of presence. It said plainly that only the High Priest and his sons are to eat the bread of presence in the Holy Place. By these regulations, David [or anyone who was not a priest] was excluded from eating the bread.

Of all the illustrations the Lord Jesus Christ had available to him, he used this situation in Matthew 12:3, 4. Jesus used it when the Pharisees accused his disciples of violating the Sabbath when they stripped and ate raw grain on a Sabbath walk. By the Phariseesí definition of work (Mishna, Moed, Shabbath 7:2), this act was an act of work, thus a Sabbath violation. In defense of the disciplesí act, Jesus cited Davidís act.

Jesus concluded two illustrations [stripping the grain was the first] by quoting Hosea 6:6. ďI desire compassion [mercy--KJV], and not a sacrifice.Ē Were not sacrifices commanded of Israel? Certainly! Read Leviticus 1 through 6.

Perhaps the most striking thing about this entire incident with David is this: God never responded to what David or Ahimelech did negatively. God did not condemn Davidís act. God did not express frustration over Davidís act. Godís relationship with David did not change because of Davidís act.

What lessons should we learn?

  1. God is much bigger than we often think He is. There is much more to God than commandments! There is much more involved in following God than submitting to technicalities. Being righteous is more than dotting the iís and crossing the tís.
  2. In Godís priorities, showing compassion or mercy to people is extremely important. Why? Because of this: our God has shown us incredible compassion, mercy, and grace. We never can show God compassion, mercy, and graceóHe never needs it! We can treat those made in Godís image [people] in the manner God treats us even when it is to His own hurt. Will those who do not belong to God understand our actions? Rarely! However, we still do it for God in appreciation of God.
  3. God understands our intents as well as our acts. Motives are very important to God. If I do right for the wrong reason God is not impressed! If I do the undesirable for the right reason, my motive is not lost to God.
  4. Salvation always is 100% God and 0% us regardless of how obedient we are. In Jesusí words, we never do more than we should have done. If we do all expected of us [which we never do], we are still unworthy [unprofitableóKJV] servants. Read Luke 17:5-10.

Does a righteous person wish to obey God? Absolutely! Is God indebted to the righteous person because he or she is obedient? Absolutely not! Saying, ďThank you!Ē does not create debt.

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