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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Don’t Overlook Simple Signs Of Mercy
Clif Johnson
Aired on Jan 30, 2024
Show Day by Day
Jan 25, 2024
00:04:16 Minutes

God does not abandon us in our times of desperation.   ~~~   Don’t be so quick to overlook the simple blessings of God as signs and tokens of his sustaining care of you along the way. We ended Day by Day last week by noting David’s desperation in running from Saul, which leads to a desperate request from David to the priest Ahimelech. We are in 1 Samuel 21 and we have this interchange about type of bread is available. It is the holy bread, the showbread, that only the priests were allowed to consume. This bread was replaced every day in the tabernacle, and the priests would eat the leftover. In other words, this bread was not just handed out to anyone. Only the holy. Only the purified. Only the priests. Ahimelech knew that this was a desperate situation, and knew that mercy in this situation was called for; that preserving a life didn’t break the law but fulfilled it. But we also have a little more commentary from Jesus Himself. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record the instance of Jesus and his disciples passing through a grainfield on the Sabbath. And the pharisees saw the disciples grabbing some grain, rubbing it in their hands to remove the shell, and eating. In the Pharisees’ mind, this was equivalent to doing work on the Sabbath, and they accusingly ask Jesus why he allows this. Jesus then says, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him?” Jesus was referring to this event in 1 Samuel 21. Jesus goes on to say that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and that God desires mercy. In other words, when there were desperate situations, extenuating situations, when a life was on the line, then the priest had the authority and duty to preserve life, not the law. This is how we know that David was in a desperate situation. He has no food. There wasn’t a fast food joint on every corner. He was a wanted man. He couldn’t just pop into any house. He didn’t know who to trust, so he goes to the priest, and the priest gives to him what is not normally lawful to give to anyone but another priest. Then the narrator gives us another question that David asked Ahimelech—“Do you have any weapons?” Lo and behold, they have at that tabernacle the very sword of Goliath. The sword David himself swung down in order to remove Goliath’s head from his body. God takes care of His chosen one in their times of desperation. God does not abandon us in our desperation. What are we to make of this, especially in light of David’s deception? If we look back, we will see that bread is actually a sign of the LORD’s blessing and confirms God’s purpose. In chapter 2, Hannah praises God by saying, “Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, and those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.” Back in chapter 10, Saul was given two loaves of bread, as a sign to him that God had anointed him as King over Israel. The presence of bread, the giving of bread to David is a quiet sign that God is blessing him, providing for him, in the midst of his desperation. Don’t be so quick to overlook the simple blessings of God as signs and tokens of his sustaining care of you along the way.

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