The year is roughly 1,000 B.C. and the king’s top general was on the run. The king wanted the man dead, believing the general was after his throne.
It was a desperate situation.
When the general arrived in a small town, he was hungry and in need of a weapon. So, he lied, saying he was on a secret mission for the king.
Do you recall who this famous man was?
“Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest; and Ahimelech came trembling to meet David and said to him, ‘Why are you alone, and no one with you?’ David said to Ahimelech the priest, ‘The king has commissioned me with a matter and has said to me, “No one is to know anything about the matter…” Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread…’ The priest answered David and said, ‘There is no ordinary bread on hand …’ So the priest gave him consecrated bread.” (1 Samuel 21:1-6)
After leaving Nob, David took his parents out of the country, and David’s brothers joined him. They were all in great danger. (1 Samuel 22:1-4)
When King Saul learned that Ahimelech had helped David, what did Saul do to the priest?
“Then the king sent a messenger to summon Ahimelech the priest… Saul then said to him, ‘Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me…’
“Then Ahimelech answered the king and said, ‘And who among all your servants is as faithful as David … Do not let the king impute anything against his servant … because your servant knows nothing at all of this whole affair.’
“But the king said, ‘You shall certainly die…’
“But the servants of the king were unwilling … to attack the priests…
“Then the king said to Doeg, ‘You, turn around and attack the priests!’ And Doeg … killed on that day eighty-five (priests) … He also struck Nob the city…” (I Samuel 22:6-19)
Saul was insane and viciously killed everyone in Nob. He even slaughtered their animals.
All the days of his life, David must have carried heavy regret for the lies he told Ahimelech.
Deceit is a big topic in Scripture. Jesus says the devil is “a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
Here’s how it goes. First, evil searches for your weakness. You know where you’re vulnerable, whether it’s cheating, lying, immorality, pride, selfishness, or something else. You know. Your weakness may be a combination of several things.
Once evil finds that crack in your foundation, it enters there and builds a stronghold. And the lies begin. You may say, “I don’t have the power to change.”
But the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. We have divine power!
Scripture says, “…the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
The next verse tells us what to do: “… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)
“I need to take this … need this woman … need to get angry … need to eat this … need to get drunk.”
Not true. Take those thoughts to God.
Speak the name of Jesus and the demons tremble. Resist the devil and he will flee. (James 2:19, 4:7; 1 John 3:8; John 8:32)
But there’s more.
Jesus began his ministry saying, “Unless you repent you will … perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)
John the Baptist said, “Repent …” (Matthew 3:2)
Peter said, “Repent … repent …” (Acts 2:38, 3:19)
Paul said “… [God] commands all people everywhere to repent.” (17:30)
Scripture is big on repentance.
“If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…” (1 John 1:9)
Start a family “Repent Rock” tradition. Take your family on a hike this weekend and find a rock for everyone. Paint them. On one side write your name and the date. On the flip side put the word “Repent.”
Place the Repent Rock on your pillow every morning. Every night it will remind you to repair the cracks in your foundation.
Copyright © 2019, 2023 R.A. Mathews. The Rev. Mathews, BA, MDiv, JD, is a faith columnist and the author of Emerald Coast: The Vendetta. She may be reached at [email protected].