David raised his eyes to the meet the town of Nob which was bathed in starlight. He was a fugitive, on the run from Saul, the king with a wild temper. His best friend, Jonathan, had tried reasoning with Saul, his father, but was almost killed for it.
David felt hot tears rise as he recalled what was probably his last encounter with Jonathan. They had met outside in a field, and both knew David would never be safe in the courts again. Jonathan and David wept and said their goodbyes. The dark, lonely flight to Nob filled David’s heart with dread. I don’t know if I’ll even last the night. Saul’s probably hunting me already.
He stopped to see a priest named Ahimelech. He entered the small temple. Torches cast flickering shadows on the rough interior walls. Ahimelech looked up from his desk and saw the young warrior standing in the doorway, disheveled and weaponless. David knew his appearance was going to raise suspicion.
“Good evening.” Ahimelech made his way toward the fugitive. “Why are you alone?” The ex-shepherd knew he couldn’t tell the truth. He wasn’t sure who to trust right now.
“The king sent me on a secret mission. Please don’t tell anyone I’m here.” The priest nodded and ushered David further into the temple.
“I’m famished. Do you have anything to eat?” David asked.
Ahimelech gave him the consecrated bread. David took it and sat off in a shadowy corner to eat. The bread filled David’s stomach, but not his heart. Great, now I’ve lied to a priest and am eating the holy bread. I sure don’t feel holy right now. Lord…what am I supposed to do?
David felt the back of his neck prickle and noticed a man across the courtyard watching him. David knew the man. He was Doeg, servant to Saul. David pulled his cloak a little closer and turned his back on Doeg. I hope he doesn’t recognize me. David thought.
He figured he could spend the night in Nob and be on his way in the morning. But he needed a weapon.
After supper, he asked Ahimelech, “Listen, do you have any weapons here I could use? I left in such a haste, I forgot mine.” The priest directed him to a small closet to the side.
“Anything we have in there you can use, feel free to take a look.”
David pulled on the heavy door and a dry, musty smell greeted him. He found broken arrows, some bent pieces of armor, and a few rough daggers. He sighed. There was nothing here. But then his eye fell on something. There was a large sword wrapped in cloth behind an ephod. He tugged on the pommel and hoisted the sword into the light. He carried it to the priest.
“Ahimelech, what is this?”
“Ah, funny you picked that sword. Why, don’t you remember it? The man it belonged to declared he would destroy you with it, and you destroyed him with it. But from what I heard, you took him down with a sling first.”
David’s jaw dropped and the sword felt a little heavier in his arms. “Goliath,” he breathed.
“Yes, the champion from Gath,” Ahimelech mused.
“This sword…there is none like it. And now I have it.” In that moment, David recalled how the Lord had helped him defeat the towering giant. He was suddenly filled with hope. Now, there was another giant coming who wanted to destroy him. But David knew if God had helped him before, he could certainly protect his servant again.
To Be Continued…
Copyright 2012 by Molly Anderson. Use by permission only.