1 Samuel 21* David with Ahimelech. (1-9) David at Gath feigns himself mad.(10-15)1-9 David, in distress, fled to the tabernacle of God. It isgreat comfort in a day of trouble, that we have a God to go to,to whom we may open our cases, and from whom we may ask andexpect direction. David told Ahimelech a gross untruth. Whatshall we say to this? The Scripture does not conceal it, and wedare not justify it; it was ill done, and proved of badconsequence; for it occasioned the death of the priests of theLord. David thought upon it afterward with regret. David hadgreat faith and courage, yet both failed him; he fell thusfoully through fear and cowardice, and owing to the weakness ofhis faith. Had he trusted God aright, he would not have usedsuch a sorry, sinful shift for his own preservation. It iswritten, not for us to do the like, no, not in the greateststraits, but for our warning. David asked of Ahimelech bread anda sword. Ahimelech supposed they might eat the shew-bread. TheSon of David taught from it, that mercy is to be preferred tosacrifice; that ritual observances must give way to moralduties. Doeg set his foot as far within the tabernacle as Daviddid. We little know with what hearts people come to the house ofGod, nor what use they will make of pretended devotion. If manycome in simplicity of heart to serve their God, others come toobserve their teachers and to prove accusers. Only God and theevent can distinguish between a David and a Doeg, when both arein the tabernacle. 10-15 God's persecuted people have often found better usagefrom Philistines than from Israelites. David had reason to putconfidence in Achish, yet he began to be afraid. His conduct wasdegrading, and discovered wavering in his faith and courage. Themore simply we depend on God, and obey him, the more comfortablyand surely we shall walk through this troublesome world.
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