Day 213 – August 1
1 Samuel 21
Day 214 –David came to Nob where Ahimelech was priest. Ahimelech was shaking in fear when he met David. “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?” he asked.
2 David answered Ahimelech the priest, “The king has given me orders, but he instructed me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on or about your orders.’ As for my troops, I told them to meet me at an undisclosed location. 3 Now what do you have here with you? Give me five loaves of bread or whatever you can find.”
4 “I don’t have any regular bread on hand,” the priest answered David, “just holy bread—but only if your troops have abstained from sexual activity.”
5 “Definitely,” David answered the priest. “Whenever I go out to war, women are off-limits; that’s our standard operating procedure. Even on regular missions, the men’s gear is[b] kept holy. That’s even more true today, with the mission holy along with the gear.”[c] 6 So the priest gave David holy bread, because there was no other bread except the bread of the presence, which is removed from the LORD’s presence and replaced by warm bread as soon as it is taken away.
7 Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained in the LORD’s presence. His name was Doeg. He was an Edomite and Saul’s head shepherd.
8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t bring my sword or gear with me because the king’s mission was urgent.” 9 The priest said, “The sword of Goliath, the Philistine you killed in the Elah Valley, is here wrapped in a cloth behind a priestly vest. If you want it, take it, because there are no other swords here.” David said, “No sword is as good as that one! Give it to me!”
10 So David got up and continued running from Saul. He went to Achish, Gath’s king. 11 Achish’s servants said to him, “Isn’t that David, king of the land? He’s the one people sing about in their dances,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
but David has killed his tens of thousands!’”
12 David took these words very seriously and became very frightened of Achish, Gath’s king. 13 So he changed the way he acted with them, pretending to be insane while he was with them. He scratched marks on the doors of the city gates and let spit run down his chin.
14 “Can’t you see he’s crazy?” Achish asked his servants. “Why bring him to me? 15 Am I short on insane people that you’ve brought this person to go crazy right in front of me? Do you really think I’m going to let this man enter my house?”
Comment: a scripture verse rarely quoted: “Am I short on insane people?”
This is what I mean, my friends. When you meet for worship, one person has a hymn, another a teaching, another a revelation from God, another a message in strange tongues, and still another the explanation of what is said. Everything must be of help to the church. 27 If someone is going to speak in strange tongues, two or three at the most should speak, one after the other, and someone else must explain what is being said. 28 But if no one is there who can explain, then the one who speaks in strange tongues must be quiet and speak only to himself and to God. 29 Two or three who are given God’s message should speak, while the others are to judge what they say. 30 But if someone sitting in the meeting receives a message from God, the one who is speaking should stop. 31 All of you may proclaim God’s message, one by one, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32 The gift of proclaiming God’s message should be under the speaker’s control, 33 because God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.
As in all the churches of God’s people, 34 the women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak; as the Jewish Law says, they must not be in charge. 35 If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in a church meeting.
36 Or could it be that the word of God came from you? Or are you the only ones to whom it came? 37 If anyone supposes he is God’s messenger or has a spiritual gift, he must realize that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if he does not pay attention to this, pay no attention to him.
39 So then, my friends, set your heart on proclaiming God’s message, but do not forbid the speaking in strange tongues. 40 Everything must be done in a proper and orderly way.
Comment: Keeping in mind that edification in worship is the point Paul is making throughout, consider order and culture – do they stand at odds? While some might be intrigued to read Paul’s stern words about women speaking in gatherings of worship, is there any intrigue for speaking in tongues? Paul’s harsh words about women being silent do not mesh with his writings elsewhere, nor with his references to women leading churches. This small section may have been added somewhere along the way to “conform” to someone’s cultural preference for church.
LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
Prayer: God of hope, may we be made whole by your touch this day. Amen.