King Saul immediately sent for Ahimelech and all his family, who served as priests at Nob.
When they arrived, Saul shouted at him, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub!”
“What is it, my king?” Ahimelech asked.
“Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?” Saul demanded. “Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?”
“But sir,” Ahimelech replied, “is anyone among all your servants as faithful as David, your son-in-law? Why, he is the captain of your bodyguard and a highly honored member of your household! This was certainly not the first time I had consulted God for him! May the king not accuse me and my family in this matter, for I knew nothing at all of any plot against you.”
“You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted. And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the LORD, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the LORD’s priests.
(1 Samuel 22:11–17)
The flaws in King Saul’s character are on full display. His jealousy of David, his anxiety about his place in the kingdom, his tendency toward violence, and his impatience lead him to one bad decision after another. Saul’s distrust of trustworthy people have cost him friendships, loyal servants, and ultimately what he fears most, the loss of God’s favor. And it will shortly cost him the power he craves.
In contrast are Saul’s men who are pledged to do the king’s bidding. They see what Saul refuses to see, that though Saul has the authority to order the slaughter of innocent men and their families, it is not right. In their dissent they risk their own lives, and for a few moments their courage spares lives.
What principled stand do you need to make?
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Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee, chocolate chip cookies, Apple products, small video projects, and the New England Patriots.