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THE SHEWBREAD
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this The Shewbread study on The Shewbread story. This the shewbread Bible study on the shewbread verses looks at the shewbread message and asks what is the shewbread, who ate the shewbread, what is the shewbread purpose, what is the shewbread reason, what is the shewbread story message, what occurred at the shewbread story, when did the shewbread story occur, why did the shewbread story occur, and how does the shewbread story affect your Christian walk. Let us seek and find the truth within the Bible of the shewbread story with the shewbread message together in this the shewbread Bible study, shall we?

 

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BREAD OF LIFE


THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL

CHAPTER 21


THE SHEWBREAD

It's a wonderful day to share Daily Bread together! And what an exciting story we're discovering.  We just learned in our last chapter that king Saul revealed his contempt for David to his son Jonathan, so David left Gibeah. But before that, it looked like things were going splendidly well ... By God's hand, David had become a hero, killing Goliath the giant and leading Israel in being victorious over their enemies, not to mention, he was given the king's daughter in marriage.

            Well, that was all great and groovy, but jealousy is a spirit that can really spoil a good streak, ya know?!
 

THE SHEWBREAD STUDY ON THE SHEWBREAD STORY WITH THE SHEWBREAD MESSAGE

            In light of this, you may not be surprised that David decided to ... Get outta Dodge so to speak ... Leave town. He went to a place called Nob, also known as the city of the priests, which was only about three and a half miles south, southeast of Gibeah, about a mile east of Jerusalem.  There he went to Ahimelech the priest. 

Now, if you get into "who's who" in the Bible, this Ahimelech is a person who is a bit of a stickler to identify. First of all, we know he must be of the tribe of Levi since he was a priest. In Chapter 22 of 1 Samuel, the Bible says that Ahimelech is the son of Ahitub in three different verses.  If you go to 1 Chronicles 24:3, you'll find that Ahimelech was of the sons of Ithamar, who was of course Aaron's son, so for the sake of being precise, it appears that the lineage went like this: 

Levi
Kohath
Amram
Aaron
Ithamar
Ahitub
Ahimelech
 

It you want to get even more specific, 1 Samuel 14:3 says that Ahitub was Ichabod's brother and Ichabod was the son of Phinehas (who was the son of Eli the priest). So, if Ahitub was Ichabod's brother, that would mean that they would have either the same mother or the same dad. But we know that Ichabod's dad was Phinehas and Ahitub's dad was Ithamar, so could they have the same mother? Well, Ichabod's mother died right after she bore him, 1 Samuel 4:20-21, so unless she was married to Ithamar before she was married to Phinehas and they had Ahitub, we may assume that in this case brother may mean kin. The same verse also says that Ahitub's son was named Ahiah, so one may also presume that Ahiah IS Ahimelech.  

At any rate, you may just want to put a little bookmark in your mind about all this, because we'll be recalling this particular branch of the Levi family tree in the next chapter, but for now, let's get back to the story. 

Now, Ahimelech was uneasy about seeing David unaccompanied. After all, a hero who is an army captain over a thousand soldiers doesn't usually travel to places alone. So David cleverly told Ahimelech that the king had sent him on a secret mission and that servants were to meet him at a designated place later. 

Then David asked Ahimelech for some bread, no doubt after hiding in the field for three days, he was hungry. Ahimelech answered that there was only the shewbread that had been replaced with hot bread that day. So Ahimelech gave David the shewbread ... 

But wasn't that a no no? According to the Book of Leviticus ... 

Leviticus 24:9 
And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.

Let me ask, when you're in dire straits, do you ever see need for exceptions to rules? We usually refer to those times as "extenuating circumstances." Times when circumstances make it necessary to lessen the seriousness or extent or even invalidate the strength of a rule ... We've all experienced them. Jesus referred to this when He said ...  

Matthew 19:11
 But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

All rules are not meant for all people at all times ... But never forget that God knows one's heart and remaining righteous is the important thing. Jesus also talked about this very incident with David and Ahimelech: 

Matthew 12:1-5
 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and His disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto Him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But He said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

But, but, but ... (your own Pharisee tendencies whisper) Isn't that ... A double standard? My friends, the Lord can do anything He wants and can judge any way He pleases. He doesn't have to be logical ... Our ability to understand His motives is so limited. In fact, let's use Saul for an example ... The law says, Do not kill, yet since Saul DIDN'T kill all the Amalekites as he was commanded, he lost his anointing. God's the Boss. He can change rules, add rules, ignore rules ... He's the Creator! The patent holder! Everything belongs to Him! No matter who objects.

THE SHEWBREAD LESSON WITH THE SHEWBREAD EXPLANATION

Okay, let's address another objection that may be lurking in the back of your mind even though you're starting to get the gist of the kind of sovereign power our Almighty Father has. These were Old Testament times, and since we're so fortunate to live in the Time of the Gentiles and the New Covenant when our sins are forgiven by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and God's mercy, we're spoiled, but for some strange reason we think that in Old Testament times, the laws shouldn't have been lenient because of circumstances. Justice was justice ... Back then. Sacrifice and offerings, that's just the way it was, and the only way it was ... Or was it? Well, again I'll steer you to something Jesus said ... It was following His teaching about David eating the shewbread ... 

Matthew 12:7
But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

AGAIN? ... I can hear your Pharisee-isms are saying, "NEW Testament." But guess what ... The Word of God said the SAME thing in the Old Testament too! Lookie: 

1 Samuel 15:22
 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Psalms 40:6
 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Psalms 51:16-17
 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Hosea 6:6
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Next time you ask God for mercy for something you do, reflect on this and I promise, you'll understand it much clearer. Okay, back to the story. There was a man there in Nob that day who was a servant of Saul's, named Doeg who was an Edomite, and he heard the conversation between David and Ahimelech which continued with David asking if Ahimelech had any weapons there, explaining that his mission for the king required such haste that he had no time to gather weapons to bring with him. 

It so happened that the same sword of Goliath that David used to kill him with, was the only weapon there, and Ahimelech gave it to David, who took it gladly knowing there wasn't a sword that could compare. 

After that, David fled to Gath, which was a bit more comfortable distance away when one is running for their life. Gath was about 25 to 30 miles southwest of Gibeah (where Saul's home base was). It was also in a part of Israel that the Philistines ruled, and the king of that region was named Achish.

Now, David heard the servants of Achish tell him that this was the same David that had killed many ten thousands of Philistines.  

Can you imagine? How does one feel when they're in such a situation? This Psalm that David wrote explains: 

Naturally, this situation concerned David considerably, so what did he do? 

1 Samuel 21:13
And he changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

Pretty clever, huh? Well, this made Achish angry that his servants would bring a crazy man to him and claim that it was the hero David ... How absurd! So king Achish had them release David and that's how our chapter ends. 

THE SHEWBREAD INFORMATION WITH THE SHEWBREAD MEANING

Along with today's study, you won't want to miss Psalm 34. David wrote this Psalm to praise the Lord after this event happened. Don't get confused when you read the title: A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.  

Ahimelech was the priest from the beginning of this chapter, but Abimelech is what they called a king of Philistine. Achish was his proper name, Abimelech was his title.  

Where will David go next, and what will he do? Hurry back and we'll share more Daily Bread and see together! Good day and God bless!

 

 

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