Bitter Lies

“So David said to Ahimelech the priest, ‘The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.  Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.’”  1 Samuel 21:2–3

As David begins his life as a fugitive from King Saul he decided to attempt to take refuge among the Philistines no doubt thinking that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and while certainly David has not made himself an enemy of King Saul, Saul has decided that David and he are enemies. 

However, before he leaves Israel and enters Philistine territory David goes to Nob and inquires of the Lord through the High Priest there. 

The High Priest, knowing that David is a son-in-law of King Saul, and a commander in Israel’s army, becomes suspicious and fearful of David when he sees him traveling without the usual royal guard. When he expressed his confusion to David, David lied to him and told him that he was on urgent business for the king and had been compelled by the king to leave immediately, without the usual preparations. 

After this David asked for bread and a weapon, if anything was to be had, and the High Priest gave him of the bread that had been in the temple, usually eaten only by the priests, and the only weapon available, the sword of Goliath. 

David then went to Gath to present himself to Achish, one of the kings of the Philistines, but he was recognized and became fearful that he would be killed because he had killed Goliath, and because of his many other victories over the Philistines, so he began to act as if he was mad; babbling, clawing at the gate and drooling. Another lie. 

Friends, whenever trouble rises up and threatens us it’s tempting to turn to a lie to escape from it. But here’s the thing, lies may get you freedom from your immediate trouble but far too often they buy trouble far greater down the road often involving far more people than the original trouble every would have. 

In David’s case his conversation with the High Priest at Nob had been witnessed by a loyal servant of King Saul and it was told to him. Saul became angry and wouldn’t believe the High Priest when he explained what had happened and Saul had the priests and their families murdered that day. 

David himself realized that it was he and his lies that had brought this terrible violence to the priests. 

In John chapter eight verse thirty-two Jesus says that the truth shall set you free. While Jesus was specifically talking about the truth about him and his salvation it’s also true that hiding behind lies, any lies, traps a person. Only living and speaking truth gives freedom in life. 

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