David runs to the cave of Abdullah. His brothers and all his father’s house come to him. “And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”
David, a man who puts his faith in the Lord, has become a refuge for those in distress. There is something about a person who is trusting in the Lord that draws others to them. And since David knows that his help comes from the Lord, he cries out to God:
- “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”
- “I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.”
- “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison that I may praise Your name.”
The Lord hears David’s prayers and He protects David and the others by sending them mighty warriors from the tribe of Gad, Benjamin, and Judah who say, “We are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For your God helps you.” Then David sends his parents to the king of Moab because he knows they would be safe there as his grandmother Ruth was a Moabite. And a prophet advises David to leave his cave and go to the land of Judah.
Doeg, the Edomite who saw Ahimelech the priest help David, eagerly reports back all that he saw to Saul. Saul repaid innocent Ahimelech’s kindness to David with murder. “So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep—with the edge of the sword.” However, one of Ahimelech‘s sons, Abiathar, escapes and tells David that Saul killed the Lord’s priest. David says to Abiathar, “Stay with me, do not fear. For he who seeks my life seeks your life, but with me you shall be safe.”
How can David say do not fear while he is quarantined in the wilderness trying to escape death? It is because David knows that God is sovereign over all, including evil. At the news of Doeg murdering the priest, David writes, “Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually…You love evil more than good…God shall likewise destroy you forever…The righteous also shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, ‘Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.’ But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints; I will wait on Your name, for it is good.”
We end the reading with David saving the town of Keilah from the Philistines. When Saul catches wind that David is in Keliah, he gathers his men to go to war against David and his men. Tomorrow David is on the run from Saul once again but this time David has an opportunity to kill Saul. Keep reading to see if David repays Saul for the evil Saul has shown him.
(1 Samuel 22:1-2, Psalm 57, Psalm 142, 1 Chronicles 12:8-18, 1 Samuel 22:3-23, Psalm 52, I samuel 23:1-12)