Hunted and hounded men…David (OT) and Jesus (NT)

13 06 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY EIGHT : 1 Samuel 21 v. 1 – 23 v. 29; John 18 v. 1 – 24; Proverbs 13 v. 10 – 19

1 SAMUEL
David at Nob – David arrives in the city of Nob, and the priest Ahimelech is troubled. David tells him he’s on a secret mission, and that his men are not far away, but he needs some bread (five loaves….Jesus fed five thousand with five loaves!)
The priest only has the consecrated bread, which only men who have kept themselves holy (no sex) would be permitted to eat.
David tells the priest that his men have been kept holy whilst with him on mission, so he is given the consecrated bread to eat.
David asks for a spear or sword, and ends up being given the very sword which had been Goliath’s before David had defeated him. David says of Goliath’s sword:
‘There is none like it; give it to me.’

There’s something symbolic about David now carrying Goliath’s sword, and of course, David taking the consecrated bread is something Jesus refers to in Luke 6.

David at Gath – from there, David flees to Gath, but his reputation for ‘slaying tens of thousands’ goes with him. David is afraid of what the king of Gath (Achish) might do, so pretends to be insane, ‘acting like a madman’, slobbering and tearing at the doors (sounds like an oscar-winning performance from David !!).
The king wants nothing to do with him and sends him away – ‘Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here’ – there’s a lot of madmen around, it seems.

David must be convinced that there is no safety anywhere in Israel whilst Saul is after him, so he is now in Philistine (enemy) territory.

David at Adullam and Mizpah –  David is having to retreat further and further away from the towns and cities, and escapes to a cave in Adullam. Somehow his family hear about this, and go to visit him in the cave. Others (‘those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader’), about 400, came to him in the cave.
From there, David goes to Mizpah, and asks the king of Moab if his parents could stay with him ‘until I learn what God will do for me’. This is arranged, and David’s parents stay with the king until David is moved on – the prophet warning him to flee to Judah.
David goes to the forest of Hereth.

Even the fleeing David is attracting a band of discontents who want him to lead them. David is also attending to the physical needs of his parents whilst on the run from the angry and ruthless Saul. He’s got a lot on his plate !! 

Saul Kills the Priests at Nob – Saul appears pretty paranoid when, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree at Gibeah, he challenges his officials to not keep secrets from him – surely some of them knew about the covenant Jonathan had made with David.
Doeg the Edomite (Saul’s head shepherd), who had been in the city of Nob, and had seen the exchanges between David and the priest, and tells Saul how Ahimelech had given David provisions (the consecrated bread) and Goliath’s sword.
Saul sends for Ahimelech, who is quizzed about what he has given David – Saul sees it all as a conspiracy against him.
Ahimelech claims that David is the most loyal of all Saul’s servants – ‘the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household’, and claims that he knows nothing of any rivalry between Saul and David.
Saul pronounces the death penalty for Ahimelech and his whole family. The king’s officials are unwilling to follow Saul’s orders to kill all the Lord’s priests, so Saul turns to Doeg to do the deed.
‘That day Doeg killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod’, and wiping out much of the city of Nob (men, women, children, cattle, donkeys and sheep).
Ahimelech’s own son, Abiathar, flees and goes to find David, telling him all that Saul had done, killing the priests etc..David says to Abiathar,
‘Stay with me; don’t be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me.’

Saul is sinking lower and lower in his actions – wiping out the priests who are speaking truth, and are doing what the Lord tells them. Saul is standing against the Lord, Himself, more and more….his days are numbered !

David Saves Keilah – Whilst still fleeing for his life, but now in hiding in Judah, David hears that the town of Keilah is being attacked by the Philistines, so he ‘enquires of the Lord’, and the Lord tells him to attack the Philistines. David’s men are fearful that this will expose them, and make them vulnerable again to Saul’s attack. David ‘enquires of the Lord’ again, and is told to attack – God will hand the Philistines over to them.
This they do, and they thoroughly defeat the Philistines, inflicting heavy losses.
We are reminded that David has his own priest alongside, now. Abiathar, son of Ahimelech).

Even under all this pressure from Saul, David can’t help himself fronting battles against Israel’s enemies (the Philistines). His heart is for his people. At every stage, he enquires of the Lord, and is utterly dependent upon the Lord’s directions.

Saul Pursues David – Saul is in hot pursuit, and summons his troops to storm Keilah. David consults the priest and his ephod. God confirms that Saul will attach Keilah, and that the citizens of Keilah will surrender David, and his men, to Saul. David and his men (600 or so) flee from Keilah; Saul finds out that David has left, so he avoids going into Keilah.
It’s like a big game of ‘hide and seek’. David and his men go from place to place – desert strongholds, hill towns, everywhere – ‘day after day, Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.’
At Horesh, Jonathan joined with David briefly, and encouraged him; telling him not to be afraid, and that he would be king over Israel.
Yet others (the Ziphites) planned to hand David over to Saul, inviting the king to come to Horesh and find David there.
Saul knows that David can be very crafty, so he sends the Ziphites to look more deeply into where David is to be found, where he is hiding out.
Almost comically, there’s a point when Saul is pursuing David in the Maon Desert, and they find themselves on either side of the mountain. Saul gets the message that the Philistines are attacking elsewhere, so he leaves to pursuit of David and turns back to defend his people from the Philistines.
David heads of to En Gedi (an oasis on the west bank of the Dead Sea), and lives in the strongholds there.

JOHN
Jesus Arrested – Jesus finishes his prayers, and leaves to cross the Kidron Valley, entering the peaceful olive grove. Judas knows this place well. It’s a place where he has frequently rested with Jesus and the other disciples – a place of intimacy, of peace. This time, Judas comes with a gang of soldiers and officials from the chief priests, with their torches and weapons.
Jesus, knowing what’s coming to Him, rises to meet them, asking who they are looking for.
‘Jesus of Nazareth’ comes the reply.
At this they step back, stumbling to the ground (is it in reverence, or is it a clumsy staggering about in the darkness?); again they’re asked who they have come for, and they reply, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’.
Jesus asks them to let the others go, so that none of ‘them’ may be lost.
Simon Peter lashes out at the high priest’s servant (Malchus), cutting off his right ear (surely there was nothing else Peter felt able to do at this point, but surely, too, he could have lost his life for doing that !).
Jesus tells them to put their swords away….everything that is about to happen, has to !

Jesus Taken to Annas – Jesus is arrested and is taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law (‘Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.’)
 
Peter’s First Denial – Peter and another disciple (known to the high priest) get into the high priest’s courtyard, where Peter is asked if he is of Jesus’ disciples Peter says that he is NOT.
The servants and officials are warming themselves round a fire, and Peter joins in too.

The High Priest Questions Jesus – Jesus is asked about His disciples and His teaching. He tells the High Priest Annas to speak to His listeners, and that He had said nothing secretly. Jesus is struck in the face by one of the officials, as if He is disrespecting the High Priest (who is disrespecting whom ?).
Jesus is sent to Caiaphas next.

PROVERBS
‘Pride only breeds quarrels….wisdom is found in those who take advice’
‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick….but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life’
‘The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life….’
‘He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honoured.’

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