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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Bread and a Sword

1 Samuel 21:1-9

Verse 3 “Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

David is now on the run. If he wants to stay alive he has to stay at least one step ahead of the king and his men. David likely had a dozen things running through his mind as he escapes from the king. Where should he go? Is his family safe? How long will it last? Had the king been rallying support against him? Who can he trust?

Not knowing who he can trust, the future king decides to lie to the priest and make him believe that he was on a secret mission for Saul. David is showing the depth of his fear, he also was revealing that his focus has shifted from eyes being fully on God to focusing on the king and his plans. He is running for his life and he knows it but had he lost sight of the fact that God had told Samuel to anoint him king? Quite a few years had passed and David seems to have lost his purpose. Fear can do that to us. Fear, being a favorite target of the enemy, hits us in a way that causes us to lose the focus we should have on God and His kingdom. We start seeing what could go wrong instead of continuing to look to Him for direction so He can take care of the perceived threat.

Ahimelek, the priest, was also caught in a moment of fear. Had the king sent this warrior to hurt him? Why was he there alone? Where were his men? He puts his fears aside and considers David’s request for food. The only thing he had to offer was the bread that had been the holy bread for the last week. The priest would have been able to eat this himself along with other priests but since David assures him the men were ceremonially clean, he offers it to David.

Food isn’t all that David needs, he is going to need to protect himself so he asks the priest what he has in the way of weaponry. In a twist that should have acted as a reminder for David about keeping God as the main focus in his life, the only weapon available is the sword of Goliath the giant that David had killed. That battle was what began his relationship with the king. David isn’t the boy he was those days. With the head of the giant’s spear weighing 15 pounds we can only imagine the weight of this sword. As David took it from the priest he probably couldn’t help but remember taking it out of the sheath to cut off the Philistines head. He probably hadn’t thought he would see it again, let alone have it as his weapon.

Making It Personal

Do you have anything that causes you to lose your focus to fear? What do you do to try to keep your focus on Christ? How can the Bible help you fight your fears?

Making It Personal Kids

Are there things that make you afraid? What do you do when you are scared? How can Jesus help you when you are afraid?

Closing Prayer

Father, we know that like Peter walking on the water, if we take our eyes off of You we will sink in fear. Give us the courage to keep looking to You and not give in to the fears that surround us. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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