VIII. SUPPLIED WITH THE HOLY BREAD
OF THE PRESENCE AND WITH THE SWORD OF GOLIATH
BY THE PRIEST AHIMELECH
When David was fleeing from Saul, he and his companions were supplied with the holy bread of the presence and with the sword of Goliath by Ahimelech the priest (21:1-9). The Lord Jesus referred to this when the Pharisees came to Him, saying, "Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath" (Matt. 12:2). He answered them by reminding them that David and his companions had eaten of the holy bread of God’s presence. He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, and those who were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and they ate the bread of the presence, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, except for the priests only? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here" (vv. 3-6). Christ is greater than David and greater than the temple. Without Christ, we should not do anything. Without Christ, whatever we do is wrong. With Christ, whatever we do is right. This is God’s kingdom.
IX. FLEEING FROM SAUL
AND GOING TO ACHISH KING OF GATH
A. Suspected by the Servants of King Achish
David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath (1 Sam. 21:10-15; cf. Psa. 56, title). The servants of Achish suspected him and said to him, "Is this not David king of the land? Is this not him of whom they sang to one another in dances, saying, Saul has stricken down his thousands;/But David, his ten thousands?" (v. 11).
B. Disguising Himself as a Madman
to Escape from Gath
When David was suspected by the servants of King Achish, he disguised himself as a madman to escape from Gath (vv. 12-15; cf. Psa. 34, title). Saul’s persecution of David was so severe that David was forced to disguise himself as a madman. It seemed as if there was no place for him in the land of Christ. In Isaiah 8 the good land was called the land of Immanuel. There was no place for this God-fearing and God-loving man to remain in the land of Immanuel, the land of Christ.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)