1Samuel 21:1-10, 22:10-19
Ahimelech The Priest
Being a servant to the servants isn’t always easy or earthly rewarding. An example of this is the priest Ahimelech.
Before David became King, he had to flee for his life from King Saul. Jonathan, Saul’s son, had informed David that his father wanted to kill him and he had to flee immediately. David and his men were hungry and he was without a weapon. As a man after God’s own heart, it should not be surprising that he went to the priest for assistance. Ahimelech knew David to be a devout man of God so he had no problem helping the servant of the king. David made his request of food and weapons to Ahimelech who willingly gave him food and the sword of Goliath which David had taken when he slew the giant. Unfortunately for Ahimelech, a servant of Saul, Doeg the Edomite saw the interaction. When Saul heard of this, he called Ahimelech and all the priest of Nob to him. Ahimelech had to be concerned about he and his brethren being called before the king. When they arrived, Saul asked Ahimelech if he had aided David. Ahimelech, though fearful, defended his course of action with David by speaking truth. He had only done what he thought right and nothing else. Even denying the accusation that Doeg the Edomite had proclaimed against him that he had inquired of the Lord for David. Saul, filled with rage declared that Ahimelech and his entire family of priests should die. Though his guard refused to lay his hands on Ahimelech, this Edomite took the order and killed not only eighty five priests, but also went and destroyed the city of Nob as well as all the inhabitants.
Sometimes when we serve the servants, we may not know what we are getting ourselves into. Ahimelech was completely unaware of the division in Sauls household concerning David. What he did in aiding David, he did without any thought of hurting Saul. He only desired to help a man whom he recognized God was blessing. Because of his desire to aid David, it cost him not only his life but the lives of his entire family except his grandson Abiathar. When we choose to serve, we can not concern ourselves with other outside influences. It might be said that Ahimelech would not have given David anything had he known all the circumstances. However, since he did not know anything was wrong, he gave aid and assistance because that was what he was supposed to do.
As Christians, we live in a fallen world. We are faced with decisions we may not know all the details too. David did not give all the details to Ahimelech, but we are not responsible for what other people do. We can only serve God to the best of our abilities with what we know to be true. Unfortunately for Ahimelech, doing what was best cost him his life. This is a tragic instance, but it should not be a deterrent to our helping anyone, especially someone who is serving the Lord. Who knows what might have happened to David if he had not gotten the bread and sword. He along with his men may not have made it any farther. Ahimelech in his desire to aid David was used to provide much needed assistance when there was no other assistance available. Though we will never know if Ahimelech would have aided David had he known it would cost him his life, we do know that he acted in complete trust.
When we serve the Lord, we should never act in fear or in doubt. We should never question whether it’s worth it. Though the bible says to always count the costs, Ahimelech acted on all he knew. Though it cost him his life, I believe that he was welcomed into Heaven as a Servant who served God’s servant.