We saw last Sunday that after the massacre of the priests of Nob Saul had lost everything except for the raw power he still remained in control of. The power he exercised was still intact to a large degree, even though basically mostly unfaithful men to him were still executing his orders. But not completely. One of Ahimelech’s sons, Abiathar, had escaped and fled to David. He spilled out to David all of the tragic events that had transpired at Nob, and David offered him a resting place with he and his men. We see that David treats God’s priests much differently than does Saul. This section today seems to illustrate to us the vast differences between the two men.
The “Saul and Ahimelech” and the “David and Abiathar” sections show up in complete contrast to one another. Especially when you read the final words of Saul and David. Saul uttered the words “Ye shall surely die” (vs.16) and David consoles with the words “You will be safe with me” (vs. 23). David is the protector and preserver of the priests, while Saul was the destroyer and murderer of them.
Abiathar”s escape and safety is really a bigger deal than it may seem off hand. This is a sign to us of how God always preserves His people in the middle of destruction. Abiathar it seems to me, shows a pattern of how God appears to work through the pages of Scripture. Of all of the thousands of baby Hebrew males slaughtered by the edict of Pharoah, God saved Moses (Ex.2:1-10). It appeared that Baal had the victory and was master of Israel, but God preserved His remnant of 7,000 (I Kings 19:18). Herod slew the young males in his fury but One of the toddlers escaped. He had absolutely no idea how difficult, or impossible it is, to reverse redemption once God had ordained it.
Abiathar stands as a witness to the way God constantly preserves a remnant of His people. The priests of Nob were slaughtered, but they were not completely destroyed. God’s people may be put down at times but we shall NEVER be eradicated. When God made the escape possible for Abiathar, He was not showing us that all believers are immune to the world’s hatred and barbarism against us but that the world can never wipe us all out. The Lord has never promised one of us that we will never die for His kingdom, but that the kingdom of God will never die He has promised.
There will always be the true church of Jesus Christ (not by particular denominations or names) on this earth until Christ sets up His Kingdom on this earth. Abiathar is a testimony to this in this Old Testament narrative. I love how the Old Testament harmonizes and teaches us the same lessons shown thousands of years before Christ.
Until next time, Lord willing,
Grace be to you all,