"The king has given me a mission," David replied. "He told me no one is to know about the mission or charge. And I have directed my young men to meet me at a certain place.
1 Samuel 21:2. (NOB)
I. THE TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE. If men had been described therein as wholly free from sin there would have been much more reason for doubt or perplexity concerning its truth than now exists; for its representation of them -
1. Proves the impartiality of the writers, who record the failings of good men as well as their excellencies, concealing nothing. It shows that the sacred writers were influenced by the highest principles, and even guided by a higher wisdom than their own.
2. Accords with the results of observation and experience, which teach that men are sinful, that those who are unquestionably good men are liable to fall, and that the most eminently pious are not perfect. Much of the Bible is chiefly a faithful picture of human nature, which (both without and under the power of Divine grace) is essentially the same in all ages.
3. Confirms the doctrines it contains: such as that man is fallen, sinful, and helpless; that his elevation, righteousness, and strength are of God; that he can attain these blessings only through faith and prayer and conflict; that he can continue to possess them only by the same means; and that when he ceases to rely on Divine strength he utterly fails.
II. THE CHARACTER OF GOD. They were accepted and blessed by him notwithstanding their sins. Is he, therefore, unholy, unjust, or partial? Let it be remembered -
1. That their sins were not sanctioned by him.
2. That they were forbidden by him.
3. That they were punished by him.
4. That they were forgiven only when repented of.
5. That they were in some cases mercifully borne with for a time because of the good which he saw in his servants, and in order to the ultimate removal of the evil.
6. That if such endurance of some things in them appears strange to us, under the higher light and grace vouchsafed, there are probably some things in ourselves, the evil of which we scarcely perceive, but which will appear hereafter in a different light to others.
7. That the principle on which God deals with the individual and the race is that of a gradual education, the aim of which is that we should be "holy as he is holy."
III. THE WORTH OF SUCH MEN. If they had continued in conscious and persistent transgression they could not have been held in honour or regarded as really good (1 John 3:6); but though their sins may not be excused, their names are worthy of being had in everlasting remembrance, because of -
1. The surpassing virtues which distinguished their character.
2. The main current of their life - so contrary to isolated instances of transgression.
3. Their deep sorrow for sin, their lofty aspirations after holiness, and their sure progress toward perfection.
IV. THE EFFECT ON OTHERS. This has doubtless been injurious in some directions. But, on the other hand, it has been, as it must be when the subject is rightly viewed, beneficial in -
1. Making others more watchful against falling. If such eminent servants of God fell, much more may we. "Let him that thinketh he standeth," etc.
2. Preventing despair when they have fallen. If those who fell could be restored, so can we.
3. Teaching them to look to Jesus Christ as the one perfect example, the only propitiation for our sins, the all-sufficient source of "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." "Nothing can be an excuse or apology for sin; yet by God's mercy it may be turned to account, and made to produce the opposite to itself. To some men's errors the world has been indebted for their richest lessons and ripest fruit... . To the lamentable lapse, the penitence and the punishment of David, we owe some of the most subduing, the most spiritually instructive and consolatory of his psalms - psalms that have taught despair to trust, and have turned the heart of flint into a fountain of tears" (Binney). - D.
And he changed his behaviour before them.
I. I REMARK THAT THOSE MEN AS BADLY PLAY THE FOOL AS THIS MAN OF THE TEXT, WHO IN ANY CRISIS OF LIFE TAKE THEIR CASE OUT OF THE HAND OF GOD. David, in this case, acted as though there were no God to lift him out of the predicament. The life of the most insignificant man is too vast for any human management.
II. I REMARK THAT ALL THOSE PERSONS PLAY THE FOOL, AS CERTAINLY AS DID THIS MAN OF THE TEXT, WHO ALLOW THE TECHNICALITIES OF RELIGION TO STOP THEIR SALVATION.
III. I GO STILL FURTHER, AND SAY TO YOU THAT THOSE MEN PLAY THE FOOL WHO UNDERTAKE TO PAY OUT ETERNITY FOR TIME.
IV. I SAY TO YOU THAT THOSE MEN PLAY THE FOOL WHO, WHILE THEY ADMIT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF RELIGION, SET IT DOWN FOR FUTURE ATTENDANCE.
(T. De Witt Talmage.).
PeopleAchish, Ahimelech, David, Doeg, Elah, Goliath, Saul
PlacesGath, Nob, Valley of Elah
TopicsAhimelech, Ahim'elech, Anyone, Anything, Appointed, Appointment, Business, Caused, Charged, Commanded, Commissioned, David, Directed, Fixed, Instructions, Matter, Meet, Mission, Nothing, Orders, Priest, Sending, Servants, Whereabout, Whereon
Outline1. David at Nob obtains Ahimelech's hallowed bread
7. Doeg is present
8. David takes Goliath's sword
10. David at Gath feigns himself insane
Dictionary of Bible Themes1 Samuel 21:2
6146 deceit, and God
LibraryHistorical Criticism of Mediæval Amplifications.
But along with the genuine and trustworthy matter, the compiler has embodied much that is unattested and in many cases inherently improbable, and even some things that are demonstrably untrue. i. The Miraculous Details.--To the category of the improbable--the fiction of hagiology or the growth of myth--belong the miracles so freely ascribed to Ephraim and the miraculous events represented as attending on his career. It is noteworthy that Ephraim himself, though no doubt he believed that he was …
Ephraim the Syrian—Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian
The Exile Continued.
Touching Jacob, However, that which He did at his Mother's Bidding...
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