December 10th, 2022
For David, Who Knows The Value Of Bread
1 Samuel 21:1-9
Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?”
So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.
Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.”
And the priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.”
Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.”
So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away.
Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.
David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”
The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”
This passages is about David fleeing because King Saul wanted him dead. David is on the run and traveling all alone, when the priest inquires about this…David lies. He tells the priest that he is on a secret mission and will be meeting up with guards soon. David being in need of bread and weapons (sword/spear), he asks the priest for them.
Jesus speaks of David and the eating of showbread in Matthew 12:4, “He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.”
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.
Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent?
I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
As we look at these two stories, David and the bread and the disciples picking grain… what do you think Jesus is trying to teach us, what is the greater truth we need to acknowledge…In Matthew 12:7, Jesus says that the priest who are “working” on the sabbath are in a matter of speaking, breaking the law but are not judged accordingly, as they were innocent. And in 1 Samuel 21:6, the priest gives the showbread to David to eat which was not lawful, yet David need nourishment for his travels. Jesus shared with His disciples and the Pharisees that He desires mercy, not sacrifice in Matthew 12:6-8, “I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Also found in Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
I think the point that Jesus was presenting and wanting them and us to pay attention to concerning the Law is that in cases of necessity (such as in the case of David), acts of mercy are preferred to ritual services. In the case of the disciples picking and eating grains in the grain field, that was not intentional work, rather innocent actions.
Other similar verses:
“In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
“And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always.”
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
“Now it happened [a]on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands. And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”
But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?” And He said to them, The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
The Bread of the Tabernacle
“And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephahshall be in each cake. You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the Lord. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute.”
Friends, I hope you are able to glean from this post, I will be honest it was difficult to try and articulate. I simply used the title from a book I’m reading and I literally just Googled, “David and Showbread.” The internet had a lot of links to search, I went down a lot of rabbit holes, chasing differing theological points. I pray the Holy Spirit guides you to the knowledge you need and not the words I’ve typed. The truth is I found these passages very stimulating and wanting to learn more, I’m not convinced I was able to convey my thoughts in practical ways for you, my audience. I’m leaving it in God’s hands.
I guess in closing, trust God, seek Him every day and give thanks in words and obedience.
Thank you for your support! You are a blessing to me! May your day be all that you need it to be. Until tomorrow … 💟
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.