When someone goes the way of hate, I don’t think even they see the bad things coming that they will do. Hate blurs reality in a “justified” way. (Just a note–hate in its worst form comes devoid of emotion).
David Cuts His Teeth as a Leader
David went on the run and he went to a town where he was known. He was very hungry and asked for bread. The priest said he had only leftover consecrated bread which wasn’t exactly lawful to eat. But the priest made an exception since David was hungry, the bread was old, and he swore that he and his men had not been with women recently.
So David and his men ate. Nearby was a man named Doeg who was chief shepherd for Saul.
David next flees to Gath, the Philistines, who were his enemies. Oddly enough while Saul didn’t recognize David as king, nor did the Israelites, the Philistines actually did. “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” (1 Sam 21:11). David, fearing for his life, acted like a crazy man.
They then took refuge in a cave and here is where David’s leadership is birthed. About 400 of the last people on earth you would want to lead came to him–people in debt, malcontents, society rebels. It was this group that didn’t seem to have much respect for authority where David was to cut his teeth as a leader.
In a tender moment, one of his first acts as a leader was to make sure his aging mother and father were taken cared of and not dragged around by their flight. Instead he took them to Moab, distant (albeit conflictual) relatives of Israel and asked the king there to look after them while he was in hiding. The king agreed (1 Sam 22:3-4).
Saul Falls Apart
In the meantime Saul was utterly falling apart. He sat under a tree with his servants around and just moaned in disgusting self pity.
“all of you have conspired against me! Nobody tells me when my own son makes a covenant with Jesse’s son. None of you cares about me or tells me that my son has stirred up my own servant to wait in ambush for me, as is the case today” (1 Sam 21:8).
Notice he can’t even call David by his name. He is “Jesse’s son.”
But Doeg, the chief shepherd was there, and ever the opportunist, said that David had gone to the city of the priests. It was to be the death of many.
Saul and his servants went there and questioned the priest and his family. They were stunned. They had only done was was right and helped David who had only shown loyalty to the king. Even as they had.
Then Saul asked his servants to do a dastardly deed. He ordered them to kill all the priests. At risk of their own life, they refused. They chose rather to answer to God than the king (1 Sam 22:17). So again, ever the opportunist, Doeg did it himself. And there was a horrific slaughter that day.
A Lone Survivor
One of the sons of the priest escaped. His names was Abiather. He told David what Saul had done to the priests. Instead of blaming, David took responsibility for the lives lost (1 Sam 22:22). Then he took in Abiather and promised him his life and safety.
And with that a new leader was rising.