then the prophet

Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 22.

In 1 Samuel 22 we see stark differences as David and Saul begin to polarize. David, even in hiding, is a blessed leader than others want to follow. They seek him out. He is the hope of the haggard and social outcasts, and they rally to his banner. Even more importantly, God is with him, and sends prophets to give wisdom, counsel, and direction.

Saul, on the other hand, is not in hiding, but strutting about. There is a difference though. Saul hurls accusation and insult. He's paranoid and nearly deranged. Whereas God sent prophets to minister to David, Saul calls out priests to kill. In the language used in verse 17, one can almost catch an inference to Saul's hostility toward not just the Ahimelech, but with God, Himself.

As he condemns these men to die, scripture very intentionally includes multiple references to the fact that these are not just men, not even just priests, but priests of the LORD. Did Saul's anger now kindle so heatedly that he dared to wage war against even God?

Another telling detail in this chapter that helps define the chasm between David and Saul is in their leadership. As stated, David is simply drawing men to himself. Granted, they aren't probably going to be known for the etiquette, but these are hard men that will fight for David. Saul, on the other hand, commands the guards to execute these priests...and they refuse. He's losing his grip even as he tries to tighten it.

In the end, one priest, Abiathar, survives and flees to David. It is beginning to come together. David, the king, and now Abiathar, the high priest of the LORD, are together. God is at work even in this tragedy. Simultaneously, Saul is revealing himself to be a deprave monarch so bent on preserving his own power and position that he might just bring the kingdom down with him.

It doesn't matter if you're hidden in a cave of leaning on a spear on the hillside, your character will be revealed by your actions. Those who are watching will eventually see the real you. Start today by making sure your character rightly displays who you want to be.