Shaken But Not Forsaken

1 Sam 21:1-22:5


One of the things that points to the Bible being inspired by God

A)Is that the Bible uniquely presents it’s hero’s at times in unfavorable light – Tells the Good the Bad & the Ugly


B)We read of Moses committing Murder / Abe’s giving his wife to be in the harem of the King / Peter’s Denials


 C) The bible uniquely tells of the moral failures of it’s hero’s –

1) but their failures only serve to MAGNIFY the GRACE OF GOD in their lives !!!


Prov.24:16 Though a righteous man may fall seven times/ he rises again


D) Well here in this section dealing w/ the Life of David – we find David has hit Rock bottom – turning to deceit & acting in a undignified manner



As we come to Ch.21 that is where we find David – he is on the run / Running from Saul –

  but then he ALSO starts to run from the Lord

A)But God in his grace will not let David get away –


B) He has a plan & a purpose to use this time in David’s life in a special way –

C)   Although we see David fall in a big way here in this Chapter –

1) We see him rise again – as He turns to the Lord


D) And we see that the grace of God is more than ready to cover David’s sin & to carry him on



Now David goes to the right place – but he does the wrong thing when he gets there !!

A) Ahimelech wonders why David is ALONE


B) Seemed Unusual and DANGEROUS ………………



     1) Basically He Lies to the priest


SO David runs to the house of God but he doesn’t do business w/ God once he gets there

A)We can do that too – we run to the house of God – He speaks thru a message / a person / he pinpoints the problem – we don’t respond


B) Pretend everything is OK – This is not a Place for Pretending !!!!





Why didn’t David just tell the truth?

A) PROTECT HIMSELF – Didn’t know who he could trust


B) PROTECT AHIMELECH – What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him


C) Here is the PROBLEM: At this moment in David’s Life instead of placing his life in God’s hands

     1) he is Choosing to take matters into his own hands


D) When Things are in my hands I always make a MESS!!!!


WELL David asks for some food & Ahimelech tells him the only bread that was available was the Showbread

A)What did the showbread mean? Why would God have a bakery rack in the tabernacle?


B)The importance and meaning of the showbread is found in the name. Literally, showbread means "bread of faces."

1) It is bread associated with, and to be eaten before, the face of God. F.B. Meyer calls the showbread "presence-bread."


C)  12 Loaves one for each tribe speaks of God’s Presence among his people


In giving David the bread, Ahimelech broke with priestly custom, or tradition but not with God’s word. God’s word Priest/ Trad. Only Priest

A)He rightly understood that human need was more important than religious Customs & traditions.


B)  In fact Once, when Jesus’ disciples were criticized for breaking religious custom by eating against traditions, { turned to this story – illustrate that pt.}

 1) Jesus uses this event in the life of David as an example for breaking religious customs – Human need supercedes – Religious tradition


C) Also worth noting that As Jesus told this story – there is no mention of David’s lie – there is no mention of David being in the wrong

  1) That my friends is God’s grace & forgiveness – He remembers our rights what we did right & forgives & forgets what we did wrong




Now  Although David’s sins were forgiven here - But there are always consequences to sin

A)David would come to horribly regret this lie –


B) Because Doeg the Chief Herdsman – is there over hears tells Saul

                                              RD v. 7-9



Doeg was not an Israelite but  an Edomite – he was the Chief of the herdsmen:

A) The word translated chief means mighty, but can also be used to mean violent or obstinate.


B) Doeg will certainly show himself to be a violent and obstinate man.


Now there were two things that David asked for – 1st was food the 2nd was a weapon –

A)THE SWORD OF GOLIATH - HOW did Alimelech get the sword of Goliath?


B) David must have presented it to the Lord..... Presented it in the Tabernacle of the Lord

  1) Now David is on the run and he needs a weapon and the Lord gives it back to David


C) The Lord is seeking to remind David here of His Presence with him

1) He is wanting David to remember the Faith that Brought him the Victory over Goliath


D) Problem is At this point He is starting to trust more in his own cleverness than in the Lord, on the Run again

1) This time David runs from God’s house to the world 


V. 10-15



Now this is comical of how when we are not trusting in the Lord we will do the stupidest things

A)David leaves Nob w/ Goliaths sword at his side - & he heads for Gath – Guess who was from Gath? GOLIATH


B) David goes to the home town of the Philistine Champion w/ the very sword that he used to cut off the Giants head/


C) Raider in Charger locker room   

1)    He goes there hoping to find a refuge & some asylum – but his plan backfires / they recognize who he is – ( what he did )


D) Not only killed Goliath but he killed 10,000 of their men

1)    David responds by acting like a crazy man – completely undignified

Degrades himself & the Lord


E) David pretended to be MAD – CRAZY  including scratching on the doors of the gate, and let saliva fall down on his beard.



Here we see the 2nd thing that our sin does – disgraces the Lord and bring shame to us – David the Champion / God’s man – Disgrace

A)The world glories in our failures – / This is the Champion of Israel ?


C) David runs to the world – And in order to save his life – he totally alters his behavior – Disgracing himself & the Lord

1)    That is what compromise always does – Alter your behavior in such a way that you are disgraced / And so is the Lord


D) LISTEN  the Lord wasn’t going to let David – find refuge in the world – and he won’t let you find it there either


God had another plan FOR DAVID: The Shelter of a Cave  Ch 22:1a

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam


A) A Cave can be a good place for God to work in our lives/ recall  Elijah running in fear Jezebel / wanted to die in the desert / ends up in a cave


B) Fire / Earthquake / windstorm – God wasn’t in it / Then the Lord spoke thru  a still small voice –


C) Sometimes God needs to get us into a cave type of setting – before we are still enough to hear his voice – laid off Job / Sickness / Heavy trial

1)    We think at first it is the end of us – that we are doomed – but we find that God is not seeking to end our lives but to reroute them



See before David could go up, he had to be stripped down.

A) God had effectively pulled all of the crutches out of David’s life.

   He had lost his job, he had lost his wife,


B) he had lost his place in Saul’s household, he had lost his best friend Jonathan, he had lost his position with the fighting men of Israel.


C) This wild dream about him becoming the King was like a vapor that had drifted away.


Now why, why did God allow David to sink to this place,

A) why did God allow His man to end up with nothing, living in a cave in Adullam?


B) Very simple, before we can come to the beginning of what God has for us, we have to come to the end of ourselves.


C) God’s University, UBSD, University of the Back Side of the Desert.

1) There are a lot of lessons to be learned in the Back Side of the Desert,


D) but the main one is this, we have to come to the end of ourselves, so we can come to the beginning of God.



God is taking away all of David’s support so that his only support is God

A) He couldn’t go to Samuel, he couldn’t go to Jonathan, he couldn’t go to the house of the Lord,


B) But he could go to a humble cave and find refuge.


C) The name Adullam means refuge, but the cave wasn’t to be David’s refuge. /

 1) But It was in the cave that David found that the Lord wanted to be


D)It is at this point that Others come to David at the cave of Adullam


v.1b So when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.


First, V.1  David’s family came to him.

A)This is a precious gift from God, because previously all David had was trouble and persecution from his father and his brothers.


B) Now, they join him at Adullam cave.- It seems that they finally came to recognize God’s hand upon David.

  1) What a Blessing this must have been to David to see their Friendly faces


C) But then we see in verse 2 How God was going to do in David’s life what He could never imagine


V 2  And every one that was in distress, & every one that was in debt & every one that was discontented, gathered themselves to him; & he became a captain over them: & there were with him about 400 men.


These men were the most UNLIKELY candidates to be the mighty men of God in David's army

A)YET God raised them up and used them to establish the Kingdom of Israel & bring it to the zenith of it's glory by using these men to destroy the enemies of Israel


B) But they started  in distress..... in debt.....  discontented


C) DISTRESS- Under pressure/ under stress / In DEBT – those who couldn’t pay their bills

  1) discontented: Those who were in Bitterness of soul –


These all came to David when he was down and out, hunted and despised.

A) Once David came to the throne, there were a lot of people who wanted to be around him.


B) But the glory of these 400 is that they came to David in the cave.



C) “Herein David became a type of Christ, the Captain of our salvation, who cried, ‘Come unto me, all ye that are weary.’”


“Do you see the truth of which this Old Testament story is so graphic a picture? Just as in David’s day, there is a King in exile who is gathering around Him a company of people who are in distress, in debt, and discontented. He is training and preparing them for the day when He shall come to reign.” (Redpath)



So these men came & gathered around David & He became captain over them:

A)God would use David to make this ragtag group of renegades  into the kind of men described in


1 Chronicles 12:8: Mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle the shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains. .


B) Men who would do Great Exploits- They killed Giants / they killed 800 men single handedly in Battle


God wants to reach North County/ Your work place / Your Neighborhood - Who will he use?

A)The distressed ....... The discontented ........ The DEBTORS         YOU & Me


B) All God wants is an OPEN and WILLING heart

You CAN'T say: "I'm to YOUNG"........ Jeremiah tried that excuse


You CAN'T say: "I'm too OLD"......... Moses tried that excuse


C) You CAN'T say: "My life is a mess"....... David's army was made up of 400 losers

    1)All we can do is GATHER AROUND JESUS Christ & Tell Him:

       "Lord, I'm distressed "


D) Tell Him: "Lord, I'm discontented  with the way things are.... In           my life and in the world around me.... I want to give my life to you"

1) Tell Him: "Lord, I am a debtor  to You... I owe You my life"


So God is doing a New thing – Bringing these men into David’s life at this time

                                                          RD V. 3-4



Now David took his parents to Moab because his great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabite

A)He wanted his parents to be safe in whatever battles he may face in the future.


B) This shows wonderful love and obedience on the part of David.


C) First, it shows a wonderful love. He cared for his

parents when he had plenty of problems of his own.

1) We sometimes think that when we are going through trials, we have a license to be unloving and selfish,


D) David shows that we can care about others instead of becoming self-focused in times of trial.


Secondly, it shows a wonderful obedience.

A) Even though David did not have a problem-free

home life,


B) he knew he was still obligated to obey the fifth commandment: Honor your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12).


C) He wants to make sure they are being cared for until he sees how this was all going to play out


RD V. 6-8


Now the Focus shifts here back to Saul – We see that he is becoming more demented by the day

A) He thinks that everyone – his son the Priest his men –


B) Jealousy does – makes you paranoid so that you don’t know who you can trust


C)Listen folks, the problem here is not that the world was against Saul, the problem is that God was against Saul. { That was the real Problem –

What was really bugging Saul was God’s hand of

judgment that was against him.

A) He just wouldn’t admit it and he tried to shift the

blame off to everyone else.


B) What Saul needed to do was to repent and fall in line with the plan that God had for his life.


C) Saul is looking for people to blame and with the help of Doeg finds one in Ahimelech -



Doeg is looking for an opportunity for Self promotion is going to find it at the expense of Ahimelech & priest

A) Saul accuses Ahimelech of conspiracy with David.


B) Ahimelech is so blown away by this accusation and is so unaware of the Kings hatred for David –

1) So much so that he praises David before the Jealous king


C) He asks - : And who among all your servants is as faithful as David.


Standing up for people, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ, is one of the greatest things that we can do for them.



Ahimelech’s words only fuel Saul’s rage - Saul commands the execution of the priests and their families, and Doeg the Edomite carries it out.


RD V 16-19


“This is one of the worst acts in the life of Saul; 

A) A bloody sentence, harshly pronounced and as rashly executed, without any pause or deliberation, without any remorse or regret.


Note worthy that The servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the LORD.

A) To their credit, Saul’s servants feared God

more than Saul, and refused to murder the priests.


B) But Doeg wanting to score points – is more than willing to oblige the king in his request


C) Unfortunately the slaughter didn’t stop there, Doeg takes a group of guards with him to Nob,

1) Where he massacres all the priest & their families


This was the total extermination of the priestly community.

 A) Actually it was the extermination of all but one, look at verse 20 – 23


B) One of the things that you will notice as you go through the Bible is that God always has a remnant.

C) No matter how bad things get, God always preserves a handful of people who will accomplish His will on the earth.


D) That is the case here, all the priests are killed but one, Abiathar, and with Abiathar comes the Ephod of the High Priest which will serve David well.


The News of the Priest death must of Crushed David especially when he realized it was his sin that played a part in this tragedy


A) I think that it was right here that David finally began to see what was at stake,


B) he was finally coming to grips with fact that his life, his actions were going to impact a lot of people. 1) What David said and did, could either preserve life, or it could destroy life.


C) The power of life or death was in his hands.

1) Same true for us – Our actions / words have an impact for life – or for death


D) Kids who hate Church – Parents words

1) pastors kids – All the Crude




Now David couldn’t do anything about the past, neither can we, but he could do something about the present.

A) He could take care of Abiathar, he could bring him into his company and protect him from future harm.


B) This is the step that many of us miss when it comes to dealing with our sins and mistakes, and failures.

1)We are sorry for what we didn’t do, { So no to temptation etc - but we don’t embrace what we can do.


C) We say no to the bad stuff, but we don’t say yes to the good stuff.

1) It’s saying yes to the good stuff that moves us away from the sin and establishes us in the place where God wants us to be.


D) With every failure comes the opportunity to do what is right and good,

1) David saw that, and he embraced it.


So David confessed his sins, he received forgiveness for his sins, and then he did those things that would take him forward and away from those sins.


That brings about the full cycle of forgiveness and restoration.