Saul continues to be paranoid and violent. He knows that David has fled and it is discovered that he is hiding out with the men we discussed last week. He becomes furious that no one told him and begins to believe that everyone is in on the great conspiracy against Saul. Doeg the Edomite who saw David seek help from Ahimelech speaks up and shares that he saw the priests of Nob help David, give him supplies and the sword of Goliath. Therefore, Saul calls all the priests of Nob. Quite honestly they share that they had no idea David was on the run seeing as he has always been loyal, is the son-in-law of Saul, and he did not share that he was on the run. Saul has all the priests and their families and livestock all killed by Doeg the Edomite because the guards refuse to kill priests retaining some fear of the Lord.
King Saul, David / son of Jesse, the men with David, Saul’s servants / people of Benjamin, Doeg the Edomite, Ahimelech son of Ahitub, Goliath, Ahitub’s household men – 85 people, God, and Ahitub’s family line of women and children as well.
Verse 17 & 18 “And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out heir hand to strike the priests of the Lord. Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod.””
2 Kings 10:21, 23-28 “And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other…Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search, and see that there is no servant of the LORD here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, “The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape shall forfeit his life.” So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, “Go in and strike them down; let not a man escape.” So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal, and they brought out the pillar that was in the house of Baal and burned it. And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day. Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel.”
Another story of wiping out priests, but this time priests to Satan.
2 Chronicles 12:1-2, 5-10, 12 “When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem…Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand Shishak.'” Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.” So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house…And when he humbled himself the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover, conditions were good in Judah.”
Another king who turned from God. But this is a story of finding humility and turning back to God.
1 Samuel 2:31 “Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.”
The word of the Lord to Eli the priest in the beginning of this book.
With the candidates for office in the States starting to be bigger news, it is important for me to remember that God is in charge of choosing who rules and he gives them their authority. They don’t have anything that hasn’t come from God whether they choose Him or not. He is in charge. As in the stories above, none of those leaders were fully following God, but God was able to use them in the way He planned things. This is humbling as well as hopeful.
Jesus in the Old Testament
“Saul’s small-to-nonexistent concern for God, by contrast, leads only to paranoia, even on the throne. One never sees life’s circumstances rightly when one’s view of God is too small. Defective theological vision can lead to alienation and sin.”*
Romans 1:19-32 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
“The fate of those who, like Saul, refuse “to acknowledge God” is alienation and sin. As Paul warns in Romans 1:28-32, God gives up such persons “to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done,” to be filled with “envy, murder, [and] strife,” to become “foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless,” and to approve (like Saul) those who (like Doeg) commit crimes worthy of death.”*
“The hope and promise of the gospel, by contrast, is a renewed mind capable of discerning the will of God and, by grace, obeying it (Rom. 12:2). For we are not who we once were. We have been adopted into God’s family, utterly by grace. We have been given a new identity as children of God.”*
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.
Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.
Next Week: 1 Samuel 22:20—23:14
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