Saul’s Revenge – Part 1

1 Samuel 22:6-11
6Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” 9Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, 10and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 11Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king.

This is one of the whiniest passages in all of Scripture. The sitting king it ticked off; apparently at every person in his kingdom. The accusations are flying. Saul is fully aware that David is collecting followers and experiencing success. And somehow, Jonathan’s betrayal is known to him as well. Saul’s response is a little crazy. He promises that his loyal subjects will become leaders of men. Those promises sound hollow because they are. Then, Doeg makes sure Saul knows that Ahimelech, the priest, aided David by giving him food and Goliath’s sword. Doeg becomes Saul’s new best friend. Ahimelech becomes public enemy number one and the price he pays will be steep.

Saul is a man who is spiritually adrift. His thought processes are far from God, making his actions even worse. My heart goes out to those who must suffer under such poor leadership. Saul’s paranoia has taken over and he will continue to spiral for the rest of his life (and reign). David, on the other hand, seems to remain calm and patient.

Our best option when those around us are making bad choices is to retreat to the Lord. Wise counsel fell on deaf ears where Saul was concerned, so walking away was a good idea. Doeg didn’t chose instead to join Saul in defeating David and could not hold his tongue. That will backfire on him later. Our own government does things we don’t care for and it happens no matter which “side” is in charge, so this is not a partisan comment. But that doesn’t mean we have to support ungodly decisions. Instead, we pray for God’s intervention. Sometimes that can be painful, but necessary.

Saul is making his own bed and despite the fact that David will stay far from becoming Saul’s enemy, Saul will continue to pursue David with malice. And the story continues.