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Sermon: Ahimelech

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Who is this guy? 

First Samuel 22.15 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 4, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. Do you love to hear stories of David? 
  2. There is one that shows David still in his twenties and 
    1. how he was affecting the children of Israel. 
    2. A priest backed David, 
      1. although it would cost the priest his life. 
      2. That man was Ahimelech. 
        1. Have you heard of him? 
        2. Jesus makes reference to an episode in David’s life 
          1. when he came in contact with this man of God, Ahimelech. 
          2. Jesus did not name Ahimelech, but 
            1. He so spoke of the event 
            2. that Jesus expected us to know what He was talking about. 


  1. What Ahimelech Did 
    1. First Samuel 20 shows David letting Jonathan, Saul’s son, 
      1. know about his father’s attempts to kill David. 
      2. David flees at the request of Jonathan. 
    2. First Samuel 21 shows 
      1. that as David fled 
      2. he came to where Ahimelech the priest was:

        1 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?” [No one else of official captivity, DR] 2 So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. 3 Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.” 4 And the priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.” 5 Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.” 6 So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away. 7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. 8 And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

        – 1 Samuel 21.1–9
      3. He gave to David and his men, 
        1. food, because they were hungry, and 
        2. he provided David with a weapon. 
    3. First Samuel 22 tells us a third thing. 
      1. Doeg the Edomite said concerning Ahimelech to Saul:

        10 “And he inquired of the LORD for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

        – 1 Samuel 22.10
      2. He inquired of God for David.
        1. Though this is not recorded in chapter 21, 
        2. Ahimelech did not deny it. 
          1. When King Saul questioned Ahimelech for aiding David, 
          2. listen to what Ahimelech said about inquiring of God for David:

            5 “Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.”

            – 1 Samuel 22.15
        3. Let us be like Ahimelech if anyone ever accuses of us praying for one another. 
    4. Let’s look at these three actions and 
      1. see how they comply with the rest of Scripture. 
      2. If they do, 
        1. then Ahimelech was obeying God because 
        2. he loved God completely and fully, 
          1. as well as his neighbor, 
          2. in this case David. 
        3. Thus it will be demonstrated that Ahimelech was a man of God.
      3. We will also see whether or not we today 
        1. are to have these same characteristics and 
        2. thus be men and women of God today. 
  2. Inquiring Of God 
    1. Notice First Samuel 22.15 the way in which Ahimelech made his statement: 
      1. The form of his question is 
      2. that he did not begin that day to inquire, “Far be it from me!” 
        1. He has been continually in the past inquiring of God for David. 
        2. Ahimelech was like Samuel:

          23 “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.”

          – 1 Samuel 12.23
    2. Ahimelech was a man of God because he inquired of God. 
    3. We too are to ask or inquire of God for one another:

      7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

      – Matthew 7.7
      1. He answers our prayers constantly for one another’s health and safety. 
      2. Let us now pray for one another in the Spirit. 
  3. Giving Others Provisions 
    1. First Samuel 22.10 Ahimelech gave David provisions. 
      1. Jesus refers to this in Matthew 12:

        1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.  2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” 3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

        – (Matthew 12.1–7 
  1. So Ahimelech was certainly doing right, thus a man of God.
  2. We are to give others provisions.

    10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    – Galatians 6.10

    20 Therefore
    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
    For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

    – Romans 12.20
  3. By doing these things we become men and women of God. 
  4. Giving Others a Weapon 
    1. First Samuel 22.10 Ahimelech gave David the sword of Goliath. 
      1. Ahimelech showed David great mercy here. 
      2. A man should not be unarmed, esp. when being chased. 
      3. Ahimelech was giving David a defense. 
    2. Interestingly, it was the only sword Ahimelech had. 
      1. Ahimelech made himself defenseless.
      2. He was a man of God because he helped to equip others. 
    3. We too must equip others:

      17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…

      – Ephesians 6.17

      2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

      – 2 Timothy 2.2
    4. Let us be men & women of God like Ahimelech. 


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