1 Samuel 21:8-10
And David said to Ahimelech, And is there not here under your hand spear or sword?…
There is none like that; give it me (ver. 9). When David slew Goliath "he put his armour in his tent" ("the ancient word for dwelling). But he appears to have afterwards deposited his sword in the tabernacle at Nob as a sacred relic, dedicatory offering, memorial, and sign; and on seeking for means of defence during his flight from the face of Saul" (ver. 10) it was still there, carefully "wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod," and was handed over to him by the priest. It was of special significance for him, and (as other memorials often do to others) it must have spoken to him with an almost oracular voice in the way of -
I. REMEMBRANCE of the help of God; afforded -
1. In the gaining of a notable victory over the enemies of the Lord and his people.
2. At a time of imminent peril and utmost extremity.
3. Through faith "in the name of the Lord of hosts." David's deliverance, as he then acknowledged, was accomplished not by the sling and stone, nor yet by the sword, but by the Lord on whom he relied; and he much needed to be reminded of it now.
II. ENCOURAGEMENT to trust in God.
1. In his service, in conflict with his enemies and obedience to his directions, the Lord is with his servants. They are not "alone" (ver. 1), but he is on their side (Psalm 118:6).
2. In the greatest extremity, when ordinary means seem unavailing, he is able to deliver them by those which are extraordinary.
3. The confidence which they place in him he never disappoints. "Fear not." "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."
III. WARNING against confidence in man. Overwhelmed with fear, he was about to take the daring step of leaving his people and seeking shelter with the Philistines, and eagerly grasped the weapon as an omen of the success of his scheme. But if he had reflected it would surely have taught him that -
1. There is no safety for a servant of God in dependence upon or in alliance with his enemies. None might be like "the Sword of Goliath" when used in "the Lord's battles," but in no other.
2. His own wisdom and strength avail nothing "without the Lord." And he was now evidently venturing on an erroneous and presumptuous course, in which he had no assurance of Divine guidance and help.
3. The weapon which has been powerful by faith is powerless without it, and may even be turned against him who employs it. Ancient memorials, institutions, methods are valueless apart from the spirit which they represent. It is probable that David was discovered in the native place of Goliath by the sword he bore; and the next thing we hear is that he and the renowned weapon he so highly prized were in the hands of the Philistines. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And David said unto Ahimelech, And is there not here under thine hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.