November 13, 2021


1 Samuel 21:1-9

The priest gave him the consecrated bread . . . that had been removed from before the Lord. . . .

—  1 Samuel 21:6

David was a fugitive. He was on the run from King Saul, who was jealous and felt threatened by David’s great success as a warrior.

David fled to Nob, where he found Ahimelek the priest. The old priest was shocked to see David alone, without any troops around him. David did not know whom to trust because anyone could become a spy for Saul. So he lied to the priest, saying he was on a secret mission. David also asked for bread, or whatever food the priest might have on hand.

Ahimelek had holy bread that was offered to the Lord in wor­ship. The bread had been replaced by fresh loaves, so it was available for the priests to eat. It was not supposed to be eaten by anyone else, but Ahimelek had nothing else, so he gave that to David.

Ahimelek became the giver, and David the receiver, of left­overs in the house of God. The priest also gave David the sword of Goliath, whom David had killed in the Valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17).

In the book Leap Over the Wall, Eugene Peterson wrote that David’s life wasn’t “an ideal life but an actual life. We imaginatively enter the [story] of David not to improve our morals but to deepen our own sense of human reality.” We all live at the crossroads of sin and grace.

Dear Lord, every good gift comes from you, but I sometimes struggle to honor that in my actions. Give me a heart of humility and gratitude when you provide for my needs today. In your sufficient name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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