“Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.”
1 Samuel 21:1-5
This morning from our text, I want to focus on perhaps the strongest emotion that we can feel as mankind. An emotion that can be strong, it can drive every decision we make. Which is the emotion of fear.
Now, the emotion of fear, in itself, can be a good and holy emotion. Because as mankind, we have been created to fear God. In terms of having a healthy respect, reverence, a deep sense of awe of God. In his book Ecclesiastes, the author came to this conclusion for life, that “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” The book of Proverbs tells us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
So as mankind, it is right for us to have fear as it relates to right, healthy, holy fear of God.
To go a little further, at times, fear can be like a warning light that is flashing, that is used by God to keep us from danger.
My favorite of the books of Narnia is a horse and his boy, where my favorite part of the book is when Aslan tells the boy how he, in a sense, used fear to move him away from danger.
So fear in itself is not necessarily wrong. However, as we know, as mankind, because of our sin, we often twist that which is right, healthy, and holy to make it something different from what God intended it to be.
Which is certainly true when it comes to many of our fears. So rather than fearing God and letting that fear drive every decision we make, because of our sin, our brokenness, our pain, fear is hijacked in ways that take us to places that tragically guide the decisions of our life away from God. In ways that we start to doubt him and his goodness, rather than trust him.
This week, I took just a couple of minutes to write down a few off the top of my head places that cause us fear that can hijack our life. I wonder how many of these resonate with you.
We can have fear of the past that we are worried one day will catch up to us as the past haunts us. We have fear of the future that cripples us on what might come our way. We have fear of death. We have a fear of missing out. We have fear of being exposed. We have fear of loss. We have fear of abandonment. We have fear of change. We have fear of the unknown. We have fear of failure. We have fear of making a wrong decision.
Increasingly, I think we have a fear of quietness, which is why we are always online or listening to podcasts. We have a fear of man that can be fleshed out in many ways, and if we are honest, the fear of man probably guides way more life decisions than we want to admit.
And because we live life with all of these different fears that come at us, rather than using our fears to drive us to further trust in God, I think we try to cope with fear by doing a few common things that can drive us from God.
Perhaps we try to get away from our fears by putting on our noise-canceling headphones of life, where we try to block out the fears in ways that we don’t deal with them. Or perhaps we try to get away from our fears by putting ourselves in some kind of safety bubble, where we become more and more isolated from the world around us, which I think is increasingly becoming a temptation for many.
Or perhaps we try to keep our fears away by controlling and manipulating everything and everyone around us, which I think, in part, has been the story of Saul in our study. He was so afraid of what would happen if he lost his kingdom that he tried to control and manipulate everything as an attempt to keep his fears from becoming realized.
Or, if we do not do those things, what our fears can do is just put us on the run.
Where we are doing everything we can to get away from that which we fear. This brings us back to our text of study today, which is a text that is filled with fear, where the central character in the passage, David, is on the run.
Now, just a little review to help us remember why David was afraid and on the run, which was because of legitimate reasons. His warning light was rightly going off because King Saul was literally trying to kill him. Where multiple times, in multiple ways, Saul was aggressively trying to end David’s life. And where we left off in our text last week, it became abundantly clear to David that Saul was not going to stop in his attempts until he completed the job.
So, you may remember that our text last week ended with David and his best friend, a man named Jonathan who so happened to also be Saul’s son, having a tear-filled goodbye as Jonathan headed back home while David went on the run. Which, to say it again, was because of legitimate reasons.
So, with that simple review of where we left off, let’s look back with me in verse 1, that as David fled, he did so to a place called Nob to be near Ahimelech the priest.
Now, a few things here to point out. First, it is at least a little interesting to me that David fled to Nob, not Ramah, which is the place that David fled to in the past to get away from Saul. This was in chapter 19 of our text. And you may remember in chapter 19, the reason why David fled to Ramah was so that he could be with Samuel, the great prophet and priest who was used by God to protect David from Saul.
So, it is a little interesting to me why this time David did not go back to Ramah to Samuel but instead went to Nob. Now, it is impossible to know the reasoning, but I wonder if perhaps Saul had his men along the route to Ramah who were on the lookout for David, which caused David to take a detour and find a new location to find safety. It’s hard to know why David didn’t go back again to Samuel.
Second, the exact location of Nob is also hard to know at this point, but scholars believe that it was about 2 miles northeast of Jerusalem, 2.5 miles southeast of Gibeah, which is where Saul was located. Which means David really didn’t get that far from where he fled from at the end of chapter 20. Even running by foot, David was only 15-20 minutes away. Still fairly close.
Third, the tabernacle, which hosted the ark of God, was located in Nob. And the reason we can conclude that is because as we see in verse 1, Ahimelech, who was a priest, was there. In chapter 22, we will see that he wasn’t the only priest in Nob, but there was a large group of priests who were located there as they were responsible to minister before the Ark of God. And most importantly, we know that the ark was in Nob because in verse 6 of our text, we see that David ate from the bread of presence, which was a meal connected to the Ark.
As David was on the run again, he ran to where the OT presence of God was most clearly found – the ark of God located in Nob. This is a significant example for us that we will return to at the end of our time. Even though it may be a little surprising that David didn’t run to Samuel, when we understand that the ark was in Nob, it makes sense.
In verse 1, as David fearfully came to Nob and came before Ahimelech the priest, we see that David was not the only one having fear in this scene. Ahimelech came out to meet David with trembling, and his body was visibly shaking. I think even this fear of the priest was legitimate fear. Remember in previous chapters, Saul put a very public hit on David’s life. And because David was such a popular figure because of his military victories, starting with his victory over Goliath, there is no doubt that this very public hit was well known all throughout Israel. So, here as David showed up, understandably, the priest was scared.
This was a very difficult situation to be in, where no doubt the priest was afraid of how Saul might respond if he showed any kind of support towards David. And, by the way, in chapter 22, this proved to be legitimate fear, as Saul went scorched earth on all of the priests in Nob when he learned how they helped David.
So in verse 1, the trembling priest came out to David with the hopes of understanding why David was there. Ahimelech asked David not only why he was there but also why he was there alone, why no one was with him. The priest asked these particular questions because it was really suspicious for David, who was a very public figure and an important military leader, to come alone. It seemed natural for David to travel with some kind of entourage.
So David answered back in verse 2 with some vague deception, telling the priest that he was there alone because the king gave him a secret mission and he was sworn to secrecy. Some think the king that David is referring to here is actually the Lord, but it’s more natural to read the king as Saul.
David went on to explain to the priest that he was not allowed to let anyone know anything about his mission, why he was sent to him, what he was charged to do, or the appointment he made with the young men at a certain place. He claimed he had been sworn to secrecy. It’s hard to know why David responded to the priest with vague deception rather than just telling the truth that he was on the run. Perhaps he responded this way to protect the priest in case Saul found out where he was located.
So in verse 1, as the trembling priest came out to David, he did so with the hopes of understanding why David was there. So Ahimelech asked David not only why he was there, but also why he was there alone, why no one was with him. And the priest asked these particular questions because it was really suspicious for David, who, as mentioned, was a very public figure and an important military leader, to come alone. So it seemed natural for David to travel with some kind of entourage. So here, David, why come alone? And this question here was such a good and penetrating question. It required David to be quick on his feet to give a response that would satisfy.
So we see in verse 2, David answered back with some vague deception by telling the priest, “Oh, yeah, right, I am here alone. The king gave me a secret mission.” And let me mention that some think the King that David is referring to here is actually the Lord, but I think the more natural reading is to read the King as Saul. So David said to the priest, “The king gave me a secret mission and he told me that I was to let anyone know anything about this matter, or why I was sent to you, or what I charged to do, or the appointment that I made with the young men at such and such a place. Priest, I would love to tell you, but you understand I have been sworn to secrecy.”
Now, it is hard to know here the motives of why David responded to the priest with his vague deception, rather than just answering back with the honest truth that he was on the run. Perhaps David responded this way as an attempt to protect the priest in case Saul figured out where he was located. So by not telling the priest the honest truth, it would protect the priest from having to cover up and lie for David, which is possible of what David is doing here. He was vague for the sake of the priest.
However, at least for me, I think David was deceptive to the priest because of a lack of trust that David had. Where in his fear, David struggled to trust anyone, even the priest with the trust of the situation. And I think we saw some of this reality of David having a hard time trusting others in our text last week, where David was struggling to trust even his most trusted friend Jonathan. So over and over again in chapter 20, Jonathan had to continue to express his commitment to David and their friendship. So once again, it’s hard to know the motives of the deception, but at least for me, David’s fears made it hard for him to trust. And because of his trust issues, I don’t think David here in this scene was trying to protect the priest with his deception. Rather, I think he was trying to protect himself. And as much of a model of goodliness that David has been for us so far in our study, I think this here was a model of ungodliness, that in the end, David’s fear was hijacked in ways that it put the priest into a very vulnerable position, which I think had somewhat of a play in the tragedy of chapter 22.
So in verse 3, as David gave his answer to the priest’s question, it seemed to satisfy the priest on why he was there alone. So they moved off that part of the conversation and changed gears into a different conversation, which revolved around a question that David had for Ahimelech, which was a very practical question.
“Hey Priest, what do you have on hand to eat? What do you have in the fridge? What do you have in the cupboards? Because of my secret mission, I have not been able to take time to grab a bite to eat, so I am hungry. And I was hoping could you please give me 5 loaves of bread, or really whatever you have here. I will eat any food you have to spare.”
But as David gave his requests, he learned there was a problem. In verse 4, the Priest had no common, regular, normal bread to offer him. He didn’t have a single loaf of bread, let alone 5 loaves.
In fact, in our text, the only bread on hand was the holy bread that was for the young men to eat who have kept themselves women. Now, the holy bread, this is a reference to bread that was placed before the ark. And as the bread was placed before the ark, the young men who were priests were eligible to eat the holy bread, providing they have kept themselves from women, which was part of the purification process necessary to eat this meal.
And this bread, this meal placed before the ark represented a meal of fellowship between God and his people. So this was just any common bread, far from it. This was holy bread, distinct from all other bread.
In verse 5, as David learned about the limited food options, he then started to make his case on why he would be eligible to eat the holy bread. And here, I think it is safe to assume that David was incredibly hungry at this scene.
Remember in the previous scene how for 3 days he was away from Saul’s court during the feast that took place during the new moon. So, I am sure it has been a few days since David last ate, and those were very stressful and draining days, which only would have added to the hunger.
So, hungry David responded back to the priest with a plea by telling him, “Oh, yes, it is really important that priests eat this meal by meeting the purification requirements of abstaining from physical relations with women. I concur, I agree that is really important. Ahimelech, did you know that one of the things that we always do when we are on an expedition like I am on is that we keep women from us. So, really by that set standard, I want you to know that I too am clean.”
Furthermore, let me add: I heard about the good thing you have done and how at times you have made provisions for the vessels, the young military men who you considered to be holy, to eat of the bread. When they too were hungry on their military journeys. And as you know, you even allowed for this to happen for them when they were on normal and ordinary journeys.
So how much more holy are things today for me, as I come to you on this most important and special matter that the king sent me on. So really, that’s what you just said in terms of being eligible to eat the bread. I think you would have to agree that as I stand before you, I check the boxes.
And as David rationalized with the priest, we see that the priest agreed with David’s logic. So in verse 6, he went over to the holy bread and gave it to David to eat.
As our text once again tells us, this bread was the only bread on site. There was not the normal bread, but only the holy bread – the bread of Presence – which our text tells us was to be removed each day before the Lord and replaced with fresh hot bread.
Now, if we stop here in our text, let me mention a few things. First, Jesus actually pointed to this text when teaching to the people of the importance of showing mercy, which is what the priest showed David on this scene. Jesus commended the priest for understanding that mercy was of greater value than rigidly keeping ceremonial laws that related to the Sabbath.
This was a teaching that Jesus used to condemn the religious leaders of the day who were so concerned by the letter of the law that they completely missed the heart of the law. This is a temptation that we all can fall into, where we get so hyper-focused on rigidly keeping or enforcing a rule or a law that we do so in ways that we actually stop showing love and mercy towards others, which is the heart of the law.
Secondly, and tied to the context of this scene, I am sure David was feeling at least somewhat encouraged here, where maybe some of his fears were starting to subside a bit. After all, in the evidence of God’s grace, his good friend came through for him and helped David successfully flee from Saul. From there, David was able to get to Nob, where the ark of God was located as well as the priests who were there to minister.
And now, David was just able to fill his stomach with bread. So in our text, verses 1-6 had to be an encouraging and uplifting time for David, where, as mentioned, some of his fears were starting to perhaps subside. However, as we keep going in our text today, any feeling of encouragement David was starting to experience did not last long.
To circle back to the roller coaster theme from last week’s sermon, in verse 7, things began to nosedive quickly for David. Because we see in the text that a certain man also happened to be at Nob that day. A certain man who our text tells us was one of Saul’s servants who was detained before the Lord.
Now, we do not know why this servant of Saul was detained at the tabernacle. It seems likely it was because of some kind of sin, some kind of added penance that he was keeping him detained. We don’t know that information.
But we do know in verse 7 that this servant’s name was Doeg. And that he was an Edomite. Now, Edom was a rival of Israel that warred against Israel but was defeated by them in chapter 14:47. So, this man was not part of Israel, but most likely he was a captured spoil of war who was put into King Saul’s service.
Which I think is interesting information. And to make it more interesting, we see in our text that Doeg wasn’t just a normal servant of Saul, but he was Saul’s chief herdsman. So, he became a man who had a predominant role, perhaps even put him within Saul’s inner circle.
And he was in this role even though he was not part of Israel, and seemingly in some kind of major sin which took him to the tabernacle in the first place.
So, there were some real problems with this appointment by Saul. And as Doeg was being detained at Nob, it seems clear that David crossed paths with him. And because Doeg was in Saul’s inner circle, no doubt David recognized Doeg, just as Doeg recognized David.
And as these two men spotted each other, I am sure this caused fear to once again flood David’s heart. Because David rightfully assumed that Doeg would make the short trip back home to tell Saul the news.
So in verse 8, we see David go back to Ahimelech for another request. A request that he would be provided with something to protect himself. Whether it be a spear or a sword, David just needed something to be able to fight off the Edomite. And in our text, David needed a weapon because in his haste to flee in chapter 20, he was not able to grab a sword or any other weapon as he fled to Nob.
So, he went to the priest to see what might be on hand. However, in verse 8, as David gave this request to the priest, once again, the priest didn’t have a lot to offer David. They didn’t have a chest of weapons sitting there ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
In fact, the only thing the priest had to offer to David was the sword of Goliath the Philistine, which we see at the end of chapter 17 David took from the battlefield after he used Goliath’s own sword to cut off his head.
And as David took the sword as a spoil of war, he offered it up to the Lord as a tribute, as a way of honoring the Lord who was the one who truly struck down the giant man in the valley of Elah.
So, in the text, the priest said to David, “So David, the only thing we have here is that sword of Goliath. That is the only thing we can offer you. And if you want it, it is yours. You can find it sitting over there behind the ephod, where it is wrapped up in cloth.”
And as David heard this news, it wasn’t a disappointment to him that this was the only sword available. This wasn’t a trip to the bargain bin for David to get the only sword that didn’t sell. Instead, this was great news to David that this sword was available. So, we see him respond back to the priest, “Oh, that sword? Yes, I will absolutely take it. There is none like that.”
As we learned in chapter 17, that was the best sword money could buy. So David said to the priest, “Yes, please give it to me. I will take it.”
However, even though David now was in possession of this prized sword, he knew that there was still no way he could fend off the host of military men that Saul was surely going to send to Nob once he got the report from Doeg.
So, as we keep going in the text, David had to go back on the run. And surprisingly, in verse 10, the place that David rose and fled to with the hopes of getting away from Saul was to Gath and to King Achish, who most likely was more of a regional ruler.
Now, why was this surprising that David went here? In fact, surprising is not a strong enough word. It was shocking that David went here. Why? Because Gath was one of the important cities of the Philistines – David’s military rival. In fact, as you may remember, Gath is where Goliath was from.
Friends, this was how bad things were for David. His fears were so intense that they got him so twisted around in his own head that the place David felt most safe to run to was right to his hated enemies.
And I would think that of all the places in the Philistine region that would have hatred towards David, Gath, the home of Goliath, would be the one who hated him the most. After all, David killed their great hero.
Yet, in his fears, that is where he ran. And as David ran to Gath, in the text, it kind of appears that David went there with the thought that he could simply blend in with the others. Which, I think, was also a pretty delusional thought.
There is no doubt that at the scene of David and Goliath in chapter 17, there were men present in the Philistine camp who were also from Gath. And they would have witnessed David strike down their hero in ways that they would not forget David’s face.
So, at least to me, this was a pretty delusional thought that David had, that somehow he could blend in. And in our text, that delusional thought was quickly exposed. Because in verse 11, the servants of Achish took one look at David and began to recognize him.
“Hey, that guy over there, you see him? That’s the guy. That is the one who killed Goliath. I am sure of it. There is no way I could ever forget that ruddy-faced young man.”
And as the servants began to recognize David, we read in the text that naturally, they went to the king to tell him the incredible, unbelievable news. “Hey, King, you see that man over there? The ruddy one. Yeah, him. Is that not David, the king of the land? You know, the very David who Israel sings and dances before when they sing their favorite chorus, ‘That Saul has struck down his thousands and David his ten thousands.’ We are almost certain that is him, standing right over there.”
And as the servants began to point David out to the king, we see in verse 12 that David somehow overheard their conversation. And as he heard their words, it cut to the heart, and David’s fears once again began to grow and multiply.
To the point that our text tells us that David was becoming very much afraid of Achish. These were legitimate fears. Just think what this would do to Achish if he was able to capture David.
Can you just imagine how awful the fears had to be here for David? His mind and heart had to be overflowing with fear, worry, and anxiety.
Verse 13, as the words of the servants made their way to David, he realized that he needed to come up with a plan, and it needed to be implemented right away. And as he was trying to put a plan together, he realized that there was no way he could try to flee the scene because any attempt he made to escape would only further expose him.
So what David decided to do was put on his acting hat. He started to drastically change his behavior in ways that he began to pretend that he was insane.
As the servants came to him to physically bring him to the king for questioning, we read that David began to make marks on the doors of the gate, some kind of nonsensical writings. He let spittle run down his beard, so it looked like he was foaming at the mouth. No doubt David was everything he could think of that would help him look like he was insane, gone mad.
And as David changed his behavior, he clearly did a convincing job because in verse 14, as the servants brought David to Achish, he said to them, “Guys, what is this? What are you doing here? You are telling me this is the mighty David who struck down Goliath and has been an absolute thorn in our side. This guy right here who can’t even complete a full sentence, who is literally foaming at the mouth. You are telling me this is David.”
“You idiots, this is not David. This is a madman. Why would you bring this man to me? This is a waste of my time.”
In fact, in verse 15, the king implies that the servants were acting like madmen to bring this foaming at the mouth individual before him. “Why would you bring this fellow to me to act like this in my presence?” he asks. “Explain to me why this was a good idea. Why this was worth my time. Let him go before whatever he has starts to spread around my court.”
Based on what we see in the opening verse in chapter 22, David was released, only to go back on the run, where he found refuge in a cave.
So what might we be able to learn from this text when it comes to our own fears, which, as mentioned at the start, is perhaps the strongest emotion that we can feel. When it is in the right place, where we fear God, this emotion serves in the best possible way. But when it is in the wrong place, when we start to fear something, anything more than God, it leads us into awful places.
So with that being said, I have a few things from the text that I want to point out, that I hope help us when we think about our own fears. Whatever the fear may be.
Firstly, our fears are often based on a true reality or even a potential true reality. Now, not always, sometimes our fears are completely irrational. But I think often, our fears do have true realities or potential true realities tied to them. They are not always completely delusional. This is one of the realities of the Genesis 3 world we live in that is broken with sin. There are legitimate things to fear.
The problem we often have with our fears, as mentioned earlier, is that they hijack things in such a way that our legitimate fears can completely get away from us. In ways that, whatever it is that we are fearing, as true as it might be, we start to obsess over them. To the point that whatever it is that we fear, it becomes greater than our fear of God and the truth that God reveals about himself in his Word.
In our text, David’s fears had truth to them. It was true that Saul was seeking to kill him, and he was not going to stop until he did. That was a true fear.
Likewise, it was true that if David was exposed and caught in Gath, the King would have brought him great harm. That was a true fear, and it was not delusional.
Even the fear of the priest, and his fear of what Saul would do if he helped David…that was a true fear.
In fact, chapter 22 shows us how true it was. I think this is one of the reasons why we can feel fear so deeply. Often, there is truth tied to them.
But to say it again, we just let these truths or potential truths consume us in ways that we push the truth about God off to the side. Friends, the truth of God, the truth of fearing God, must outweigh whatever true thing that we fear.
Our fears can lead us to making foolish decisions. We will talk about this more in just a second, but when true fears come our way, our response is to let those fears drive us to the Lord. Trusting Him, His Word, and trusting that as the song sings, He will hold us fast through even our deepest and darkest fears.
However, probably far too often than we want to admit, when our hearts fill up with fear, we run to so many other things other than God to be our present help in our time of trouble, including things I mentioned at the start of the sermon.
Even though at times those are foolish things that we foolishly conclude will help us, which I do think was true of David in this text. As his fears foolishly took him away from the ark of God to maybe the worst place possible for him outside of walking right into Saul’s court.
As David’s fears had him so twisted around, they took him to Gath, the home turf of his enemies. As if that is where he would find safety in his trouble.
When we are consumed with fear, let’s be honest with ourselves. It is hard for us to think clearly, rationally. We start to come to conclusions, make decisions that are unwise and can even put us at risk of great harm, even though ironically we make the decision trying to get away from harm.
This ties into the third thing I want to point out to us today. Fear is far worse when we are alone, because when we are alone, especially when we are alone in our fears, often we don’t come up with great conclusions, and we make sinful, foolish decisions.
Now for David, the situation he was in did make him physically alone, where he was isolated and on the run. And I don’t think being physically alone was necessarily David’s choice, but it was his reality.
However, I think our text also points us to the reality that David was not just physically alone, but he was also emotionally alone, emotionally isolated, where in his fears, he tried to keep others at a safe emotional distance.
And I think we see that in his interactions with the priest, who in the text was so merciful that even our Lord Jesus recognized him centuries later as an example of what it looks like to show mercy. However, for David who was filled with fear, emotionally, he felt he could not trust even the priest in ways that he was able to be forthright and honest with his situation. David’s fears left him completely isolated, physically and emotionally, and friends, that is never a good thing.
By the way, this is also one of the many reasons why we hope that all of us are connecting with others, so that others can speak into your life, maybe specifically to speak into the fears of yours. Don’t let your fears bottle you up in isolation. As hard as it might be, let others in to help you fight against fear.
In fact, this morning, if you know that in your fears, you have been living in your own isolation, I want to invite you, as hard as it might be for you, because like David, you struggle to trust people, to let people into your life. Please let others do so because in the end, you do need to trust in the Lord, who has designed us and instructed us to live in such a way that we let people into our life, even letting them into our fears.
This leads to the last thing I want to say here as we finish up this time. Fourth, fight fear with trust. Church, trust is the great antidote to fear. We fight fear with trust, trust in God.
Let me read you these words from Psalm 56, which is actually linked to our text today, as David wrote these words in response to when he was on the run in Gath:
“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.”
Now, I don’t think David was perfect in his example and how he fought against fear with trust. But I think he gave us two great examples to follow as we seek to trust in the Lord when real fears come our way.
First, at the start of the passage, David gives us a great model and example to follow. In that, his fears drove him to seek to find refuge in the presence of God where the fullness of it was found in the tabernacle that was located in Nob.
Second, in the psalm I just read, David’s fear drove him to worship God through song as he put his trust in the Lord.
And friends, when we are filled with fears, whatever they may be, may you and I do the same.
When fears come our way, may we too run into the presence of the Lord to worship him. Which today will not take us to Nob, to the tabernacle, because that is not where the fullness of God’s presence is found. Rather, today, if we are going to worship God, we must run to where the fullness of God is found, which is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The eternal Son of God who became flesh, who in his great love feared God in such a way that, according to the eternal plan, willingly went to the truest fearful reality, where our Lord laid down his life for his people on the cross to take on the judgment of sin in our place, only for him to rise again on the third day. And friends, when we run to Jesus and remember that he died for his people, we know that we are loved with a love that casts out all fear.
And when we run to Jesus and remember that he rose again from the dead, we know that indeed his is greater than anything this life might fearfully throw at us. And because of that, not only can we trust him with our fears, we can also trust that one day, when he returns, he will push away all of our fears where we dine with him, eating a much better meal than the Holy bread that was found at the ark. But we will dine with him in perfect peace at his supper that he is preparing for us.
Church, yes, we live in a world of fears. Yes, many of our fears, in a sense, are legitimate. But may we trust in the Lord in ways that not only are we helping each other through our fears, but we are helping each other pursue Jesus Christ who, through his Spirit, promises to be present help in whatever trouble we are facing.