David’s stomach growled as he approached the tabernacle in Nob.
Ahimelech, the priest, came to the entrance. His eyes enlarged when he saw David. He looked over David’s shoulder. “Why are you alone? Where are your troops?”
David leaned on the door post. “I’m on a secret mission for King Saul. My men are in hiding. We need some food to eat. Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you have.”
Ahimelech stepped back. “I don’t have any common bread. All I have is holy bread. I can let you have that if you know your men have been kept from women for the last three days.”
David nodded. “I assure you nobody with me has been with a woman in the past few days. Our bodies are pure and the bread is just bread even though it was consecrated to the Lord before today.”
Ahimelech stroked his beard. “I suppose you’re right. I have yesterday’s bread of the Presence that I just replaced with fresh bread. I’ll give you that so you and your men can fulfill the king’s mission.”
David watched the priest walk into the tabernacle. He looked around and noticed a man staring at him from near the corner of the massive tent.
David stood and clenched his fists by his sides when he recognized Doeg, King Saul’s head shepherd.
David’s mind recalled the time he took two dozen of his family’s sheep to the tabernacle to sell to the priests for annual sacrifices.
Ahimelech had just stood after carefully examining them to assure none of them had a blemish and they were all male. “The current price is two shekels each.”
David nodded. “That sounds like a good price. May the Lord be honored by their sacrifice.”
Just then Doeg barged past the younger shepherd with a herd of about fifty sheep. “You’ll buy these sheep first. They belong to the king of the land.”
Ahimelech excused himself and quelled the commotion Doeg raised.
An hour later he returned to David and his sheep. “I’m afraid the price has dropped because of the abundance of sheep we currently have.”
David’s shoulders dropped. “How much are we talking?”
The priest looked at the sheep. “I’ll pay you one shekel each.”
David searched the priest’s eyes. “But, that’s half of what we agreed on.”
Ahimelech shrugged his shoulders.
David looked at Doeg’s smile as much more than fifty shekels were dumped in his money pouch. “Very well. May the Lord be honored by their sacrifice.”
When Ahimelech pressed the package of bread into David’s chest David was brought back to the present. He turned to the priest. “Do you have a spear or sword here? I was in such a hurry to leave I wasn’t able to bring mine.”
Ahimelech nodded. “All we have is the sword of Goliath the Philistine whom you killed in the Valley of Elah. It’s yours if you want it.”
David smiled. “The champion’s sword, it’s one-of-a-kind. I’ll take it.”
As Ahimelech walked back into the tabernacle David tore off a section of bread and chewed it. He looked back at the corner of the tent.
Doeg was nowhere to be seen.
How does God go about making a shepherd boy into a king? Step 12: He uses his hunger to drive him to a nefarious divine appointment.
I’m sure David’s favorable encounter in Ramah with Samuel was the reason he turned to the priests at the tabernacle for food during his fugitive status. Who else could he trust at this point?
What David couldn’t control was who else was at the tabernacle at that time. Doeg the Edomite was one of King Saul’s top employees. One whom David had a bad history with. They knew each other and this would not turn out well in the long run.
I’m sure David’s first swallow of bread was met with the emotional pit that was already in his stomach at that time.
Try as he may David was bringing others down around him through no fault of his own. Even Ahimelech knew he was in danger when David showed up on his doorstep alone.
Have you ever had times like that? No matter what you did something bad happened anyway. Evil has a way of occurring because of its grip on people. We can’t control whether someone will give in to its pull or not.
I know you don’t like reading that. I hated to write it, but, the truth is painful sometimes.
Romans 12:18 shows this truth played out. “If it is possible,as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
You see, we can’t control what others will do. We have limits placed on us. We must do all we can to live God-honoring lives.
Stop beating yourself up over something somebody else did. It’s not your fault.
Even if the evil happened to you. It’s not your fault.
Do your best to move on with your life. Seek justice as much as you can. Cry when the load feels too heavy to bear. Take it one step at a time each day. God will give you the strength you need to get through to the other side.
And when you do get to the point of standing up again you can help another hurting soul going through the same turmoil you did. You’ll be the best person to give them hope that they’ll make it through.
How do I know? The Bible tells me so: 2 Corinthians 1:4 “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
Think of it like this: God gave us two hands for a reason. With one hand we can reach forward to grab a hand that will help us move forward. With the other hand we can reach back to help another hurting soul move forward in their life.
This community of family is divinely created to work together.
Let’s reach out to those who need a lift.
I’ll see you later. Wade