1 Samuel: David the survivor

1 Samuel 21:1–22:5

Three scenes here.

David and the priest. David is an outlaw. An exile. Unwelcome in his own home. Public enemy #1 of the king. A bounty on his head. So he’s on the run for his life.

Two things you need when you’re running for your life. One, food. And two, weapons.

But all this priest has is ceremonial bread. Imagine you encountered a homeless person, and all you had to offer was communion bread.

This is a scene made famous in the New Testament by Jesus when the Pharisees get bent out of shape because the disciples are picking grain on the Sabbath because they’re hungry.

David and the Philistines. With bread for the journey and a sword to defend himself, David runs to Philistia. Perhaps the enemies of Saul will provide him protection. But his reputation as a Philistine killer precedes him.

A good king knows when he can’t out-muscle his opponent, and so outwits him instead.

David and the losers. So David runs from the Philistines and hides in a cave. And we’re given this curious detail:

And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. 

Sounds a little like Jesus, no? The Jesus who eats with tax collectors and sinners. Who touched the lepers and gave hope to the poor. No wonder when the people saw Jesus they’re imaginations jumped to the stories of David.

The good king gives hope to those who have none. The good king inspires dreams. The good king provides a place to belong.

Hope is an amazing magnet when it comes to leadership.


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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