I Samuel 22:1-23

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Text: I Samuel 22




Near the end of his life, Paul wrote to Timothy -

II Timothy 3:14-17 - 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness [note this word "instruction"]: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished [i.e. fully equipped] unto all good works.

Something you may not realize is that the same word translated instruction in II Timothy 3:16 is translated chastening or chastisement in Hebrews 12:5-11 . This suggests that God is using the chastening or chastisement experience as an instructional tool for the believer and that it is not just punishment.

Hebrews 12:5-11 - 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord [i.e. stop giving little esteem to the chastening of the Lord, stop regarding lightly the chastening of the Lord, or stop making light of the chastening of the Lord], nor faint [i.e. and stop becoming faint or and stop becoming weary] when thou art rebuked of him [i.e. when you are corrected, when you are punished, or when you are disciplined by Him]: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons [This means that it's an evidence of your having been saved.]; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all [i.e. all believers or all sons of God] are partakers, then are ye bastards [i.e. you are illegitimate children], and not sons [This means that being without chastisement is an evidence that you have not been saved]. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Sometimes the instruction we receive is positive, teaching us what we should be doing. Sometimes the instruction we receive is negative, teaching us what we should not be doing. Sometimes the instruction we receive comes with a certain amount of reinforcement, which is intended to help us both to learn the lesson and not to forget it. But, the instruction does come; and additional instruction continues throughout our lifetimes on an as-needed basis.

Sometimes we may take our eyes off the Lord, but He never takes His eyes off us. He is constantly working in our lives to make us more and more Christlike.

Are you going through a period of time in your own life where you can sympathize with David, a difficult period where nothing seems to make sense but where you believe you have done the right things and you're not guilty of sin which would have brought your difficulties upon you? The life of David will have a special appeal to you.

Even if you are going through a period of time in your life where you have brought the difficulties on yourself, remember that the Lord loves you and does things to correct you. Accept the correction. Confess or acknowledge your sin to God, and remember that He has promised to forgive your sin. Then, go on living for the Lord.

I John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In spite of what David did in chapter 21, God was still going to make him king of Israel. David, however, had many things to learn. You and I are in a similar situation. We are not perfect; we do not always do things as God would have us do them; and we are guilty of sin. However, God in His infinite wisdom brings us through many experiences in life, even bad ones, to teach us things He wants us to know and to make us more and more godly. In this message I would like you to see some of the things God brought into David's life to teach David things he needed to know. You and I may have had similar experiences in our lives.

God knew that David needed a place of safety from Saul, a place where he could find temporary shelter; so He provided it in the cave of Adullam.

What do you suppose David was doing in the cave? We really don't know because the text doesn't tell us. Anything I say is strictly conjecture. However, we do have some insight into his thinking because it was at this time in his life that he wrote Psalms 34 and 56. Now don't be too hard on David. At this time in his life, he was only about 20 years old; and God was dealing with his heart.

Psalms 56 - To the chief Musician upon Jo-nath-elem-rechokim [i.e. set to (the tune of) the Silent Dove in Distant Lands], Michtam of David [Michtam seems to be a music term.], when the Philistines took him in Gath. (1) Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. (2) Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. (3) What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (5) Every day they wrest [i.e. distort or twist] my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. (6) They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. [Remember that David had been fleeing for his life from Saul and that he went to Achish in Gath to escape Saul; but it was good there either. It was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.] (7) Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. (8) Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? (9) When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. (10) In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. (11) In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. (12) Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. (13) For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Psalms 34 - A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimilech [i.e. before Achish]; who drove him away, and he departed. (1) I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (2) My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. (3) O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. (4) I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (5) They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. (6) This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. (8) O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (9) O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him: (10) The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want [i.e. lack or be in need of] any good thing. (11) Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. (12) What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? (13) Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. (14) Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. (15) The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. (16) The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (17) The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. (18) The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (20) He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. (21) Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. (22) The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

In addition to bringing David to the cave to protect him -


I Samuel 22:1 - David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren [i.e. his brothers] and all his father's house heard it, they went down thither [i.e. there] to him.




I Samuel 22:2 - And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

What a following! It sounds like a group wanting to start a new Baptist Church! Everyone that was in distress, in debt, and discontented!


David took time out to look after his parents - Remember that David's great grandmother was Ruth, the Moabitess. They had a child named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David. This means that Ruth, the Moabitess, was David's great grandmother.

I Samuel 22:3-4 - (3) And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. (4) And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold [i.e. in the stronghold - A stronghold is a place which has been fortified in order to protect it against attack from an enemy.].


I Samuel 22:5 - (5) And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold [i.e. in the stronghold]; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.

Gad became David's seer, i.e. David's prophet.

II Samuel 24:11 - For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer. . . .

Gad rebuked David for his sin of the census.

II Samuel 24:11-20 - (11) For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, (12) Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. (13) So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. (14) And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait [i.e. in great distress]: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. (15) So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. (16) And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite. (17) And David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. (18) And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite. (19) And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the Lord commanded.

Gad also wrote a history of the reign of David.

I Chronicles 29:29 - Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer.


I remind you that in I Samuel 21:1-6 David lied to Ahimelech to obtain food.

I Samuel 21:1-6 - (1) Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest [Nob was a small town inhabited by priests, just north of Jerusalem.]: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee? (2) And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee [As we mentioned last week, this was a lie. Saul had not commanded David a business and had not said unto him not to let anyone know what he had commanded him.]: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place. (3) Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present. (4) And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed [i.e. holy] bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. (5) And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy [This might mean the young men's bodies.], and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. (6) So the priest gave him hallowed [i.e. holy] bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

I remind you also that in I Samuel 21:7 David endangered Ahimelech and the other priests by his lying.

I Samuel 21:7 - (7) Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord [This was apparently because of ceremonial defilement.]; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul [Remember the name Doeg. Unfortunately, we'll see him again.].

I remind you also that in I Samuel 21:8-9 David lied to Ahimelech to obtain Goliath's sword -

I Samuel 21:8-9 - 8 And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand [i.e. is there not here] spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste [This was another lie.]. 9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here [i.e. there is no other sword except that one here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.

In I Samuel 22:6-19 we see Saul's slaying of the priests and inhabitants of Nob -

I Samuel 22:6-19 - (6) When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;) (7) Then Saul said unto his servants that stood about him, Hear now, ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give everyone of you fields and vineyards, and make you all captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; (8) That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league [i.e. has made a covenant] with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day [i.e. to lie in ambush - as if David were seeking to kill Saul!]? (9) Then answered Doeg the Edomite - [Do you remember this name? I told you to remember it.], Then answered Doeg the Edomite which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. (10) And he inquired of the Lord for him, and gave him victuals [i.e. provisions], and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. (11) Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests that were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king. (12) And Saul said, Hear now, thou son of Ahitub. And he answered, Here I am, my lord. (13) And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me [Ye is plural and refers both to Ahimelech and to David], thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait [i.e. to ambush me], as at this day? (14) Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house? (15) Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me [Was it the first time I inquired of God for him. Certainly not.]: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father [Let not the king charge me, your servant, with anything, nor charge any of my family.]: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more. (16) And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father's house. (17) And the king said unto the footmen [i.e. to the guards (or bodyguards)] that stood about him [i.e. who stood by Saul], Turn, and slay the priests of the Lord: because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon [i.e. to kill] the priests of the Lord. (18) And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod [i.e. eighty-five priests]. (19) And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings [i.e. babies], and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

David bears some responsibility for what happened at Nob. If David had not gone there and done what he did, this event may not have happened. In another sense this was the judgment of God upon the house of Eli.

I Samuel 2:31-36 - (31) Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. (32) And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. (33) And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. (34) And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. (35) And I will raise me up a faithful priest [This is a reference to Zadok who ministered in the days of David and Solomon but is ultimately a reference to Christ] - And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. (36) And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread [i.e. The motive for being a priest would not be to serve the Lord but to get something to eat.].

I Samuel 3:11-14 - (11) And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone that heareth it shall tingle. (12) In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. (13) For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. (14) And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

Ultimately, the responsibility for what happened at Nob is Saul's because he ordered the massacre.


I Samuel 22:20-23 - (20) And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. (21) And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the Lord's priests. (22) And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house. (23) Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard [i.e. with me you will be safe].


What experiences is God taking you through? We sometimes feel like we are somewhere out in the wilderness, not knowing what to do. Remind yourself that just as God guided David, so He is guiding or will guide you. Just as David ended up where he was supposed to be, so you will end up where you are supposed to be as long as you stay faithful and submissive to the Lord.