11 Then the king sent someone to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s household, the priests who were in Nob; and all of them came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen now, son of Ahitub.” And he [f]answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 Saul then said to him, “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he would rise up against me by lying in ambush as it is this day?”
14 Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, even the king’s son-in-law, who [g]is captain over your guard, and is honored in your house? 15 Did I just begin to inquire of God for him today? Far be it from me! Do not let the king impute anything to his servant or to any of the household of my father, for your servant knows nothing [h]at all of this whole affair.” 16 But the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s household!” 17 And the king said to the [i]guards who were attending him, “Turn around and put the priests of the Lord to death, because their hand also is with David and because they knew that he was fleeing and did not [j]reveal it to me.” But the servants of the king were not willing to put forth their hands to [k]attack the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and [l]attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and [m]attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. 19 And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword.
20 But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 Then David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have brought about the death of every person in your father’s household. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are [n]safe with me.”
One reads through this, and feels the tragedy and depravity of those who were willing to commit the evil acts of Saul. All Saul’s guards flat-out refused to do such an evil deed, and that should have been enough to slow Saul down, but it wasn’t. He kept going until he found someone to do his bidding.
Finally, we have some good news, as one of the priests escapes and comes to David. David’s final words in this chapter are telling, “…do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life, for you are safe with me.”
What kind of craziness is this? Put another way, “the same nut-case of a king who is trying to kill me wants to kill you also… so don’t be afraid, you are safe here with me.”
Why on earth would David say something so seemingly contradictory? David could say such things because he knew who had called him to be king of Israel. David trusted God to fulfill His plan, and that meant so long as Abiathar was with David, the same protection of God that surrounded David would also protect Abiathar.
Would that we trusted God like this! God has a plan for my life, and He has a plan for your life. Do you believe that? Do you trust that? God is not a man that He should fail or change His mind. Know this, so long as you are chasing after God, He will not fail you. And if you die, you go to be with Him, which is unfathomably greater than to remain on this earth. We live and die only when God says it is time. Until then, we run after Him, we “press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”