A Little White Lie?
Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of December 28, 2014
1 Samuel 21:1-22:5
David’s flight from Saul took him south to Nob, on Mount Scopus just north of Jerusalem. David deceived the priest Ahimelech by saying he was on a secret mission for the king. Ahimelech’s cooperation with David would later cost him and many others their lives. Ahimelech gave David food (the consecrated “bread of the Presence” that was normally eaten by the priests [1 Sam. 21:6]) and “the sword of Goliath the Philistine” (v. 9).
Then David left the kingdom of Saul and sought asylum in the Philistine city of Gath. It seemed foolhardy for David to enter the hometown of Goliath with that hero’s sword swinging at his side! He was immediately recognized and captured by the Philistines. He had to pretend insanity (another deception) to facilitate his exit from the city.
David escaped to the cave of Adullam, about 10 miles southeast of Gath, where his brothers visited him, and his band of fugitives increased to about 400 men. David then took his parents east of the Dead Sea to a city in Moab (the homeland of David’s ancestor Ruth) where they would be safe from Saul’s persecution. David sought refuge in “the stronghold” (22:4), possibly Masada, towering 1,320 feet above the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. At the Prophet Gad’s advice, he “went to the forest of Hereth” in the land of Judah several miles southeast of Adullam (v. 5).
Think it over: We sometimes feel like we have been hounded by our enemies and isolated from our friends. We may feel that everyone and everything is against us, and then we may resort to some scheme for survival. Like David, we may lie to others, or resort to some other “little sin” to aid our survival. But David’s “little white lie” had disastrous effects for the village of Nob. Regardless of the outward effects of deception, it is sin against God. “Do not lie to each other” (Col. 3:9).