David Flees to the Priest and Philistines

May 18, 2022    Pastor Daryl Zachman
When the king of your country wants to kill you, then where do you flee? David had few that he could trust. Now that he knew for sure Saul intended to kill him where could he go? David ran to the house of the LORD.

May I suggest that when trouble strikes we should all run to the Father’s house? David knew that he couldn’t stay there. Saul would find him too quickly. But David had two immediate needs: food and a sword. The tabernacle was a place of worship—not a market or armory. But David went to the priest and asked if he had any bread on hand for him and his men. The only bread available was the showbread that had been before the LORD. Only the priests were permitted to eat this sacred bread, but the priest gave it to them anyway.

Later, Jesus referenced this event when He spoke to the faultfinding Pharisees.

“Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?... But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Matthew 12:3–7, NKJV)

The point Jesus made was that human need supersedes rituals and regulations, and that God delights in showing mercy.

David’s second need was for a sword. Surprisingly, they had Goliath’s sword on hand, which David had previously taken from the giant. Ahimelech, the priest, gave it to David.

After this, David fled to Achish, a Philistine king, thinking that Saul would not look for him there. But the king’s servants said, “Isn’t this David of whom they sing: ‘Saul has struck down his thousands and David his ten thousands’?” When David heard these words he panicked. He pretended to be a madman until he was no longer welcomed by the Philistines.

What is the lesson? Everything we need is to be found in the Father’s house. God knows our needs before we ask Him, but He still wants us to come to Him and ask. He will supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ (Phil. 4:9). But if you try to find refuge in this world, then it will drive you crazy!