Wednesday, November 04, 2020

2020.11.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 22:6–23

Read 1 Samuel 22:6–23

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Saul hear in 1 Samuel 22:6? Where was he? Who was with him, and what did he promise them (1 Samuel 22:7)? Of what does he accuse them (1 Samuel 22:8)? Whom else does he accuse of this? Who answers (1 Samuel 22:9)? What does he say (1 Samuel 22:10)? What does Saul do in 1 Samuel 22:11? How does Ahimelech answer him (1 Samuel 22:12)? Of what does Saul accuse him (1 Samuel 22:13)? What does Ahimelech say about David in 1 Samuel 22:14? What did he say had not started during David’s recent visit (1 Samuel 22:15)? What did he claim, with respect to David’s running from Saul or potentially rising against him? What does Saul say will happen in 1 Samuel 22:16? To whom? Whom does Saul tell to do what in 1 Samuel 22:17? What reasoning does he give? With what evidence? How did the guards/servants of the king respond? Whom did Saul now command to do it in 1 Samuel 22:18? How did he respond? To how many? Of whom? How are the priests described at the end of verse 18? Whom else did he kill, from what city, and which types of people, and even what else (1 Samuel 22:19)? Who escaped (1 Samuel 22:20)? Where did he go? Whom did he tell about what (1 Samuel 22:21)? What had David suspected would happen (1 Samuel 22:22)? What does David feel was his responsibility? What does he tell Abiathar to do (1 Samuel 22:23)? Why?

It's been about 20 chapters (and 45 or so years) since God pronounced just judgment upon Eli’s house (cf. 1 Samuel 2:31–33). Without downplaying the wickedness of Saul and Doeg, we can take to heart the reminder that sin has far-reaching consequences. The believer, and especially the believing head of household, ought to be constant in pleading God’s mercy to keep him in the path of righteousness and to overrule all of his sin and shortcomings. For apart from grace, if a Doeg were to slaughter our extended family in order to get in good with the powers that be, it would be no worse than we deserve and could rightly expect.

Now, back to not downplaying the wickedness of Saul and Doeg. As we are about to be taught in Genesis 37, all murderous hatred is ultimately hatred of God, and there is no one who is the target of this murderous hatred more than Christ.

In fact, to be associated with Christ is to be hated for His sake. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:18–21 (cf. John 16:1–4; John 17:14; 1 John 3:13; Matthew 10:21–25; Matthew 24:9).

Ahimelech had a good case of why to do David good and that he meant Saul no harm (1 Samuel 22:14–15), but he did not know that the mortal sin before Saul was even to be associated with “the son of Jesse” as Saul now calls him (1 Samuel 22:71 Samuel 22:81 Samuel 22:13) and Doeg so astutely follows (1 Samuel 22:9). Doeg understands the times and acts accordingly.

Even being a donkey that is associated with a group (Nob) that is associated with a family that includes a man who was associated with David was enough cause to be slaughtered. 

This is not merely what communism and fascism do to the enemies of the state or of “the party,” as is happening more and more in America. This is not merely what Islam has been zealously doing for a millennium and a half. This is what Satan has been doing to man from the beginning, simply for his being created in God’s image. This is what he has been doing to all who are the seed of the woman, what he tried to do to Christ, what he tries to do to all who are Christ’s.

So, we should expect it. Jesus told us to expect it. Taking up our cross is not only denying the desires and impulses of our flesh, but to live in full expectation that our fellowship with Christ will include having fellowship with His sufferings (cf. Luke 9:22–24; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:24). 

But we should also expect that there is, for us, the same safety as Abiathar (1 Samuel 22:23). Great David’s greater Son is the Shepherd with whom we are safe in death’s shadow, even in death itself, and for life forevermore!

In what ways do you expect to suffer for belonging to Christ? In what ways are you “staying with” Him? 

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH23A “The Lord’s My Shepherd”

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