Check out all the previous David readings here.

David Reading | Week 3 | Day 3


Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times. Pray that God would open your eyes to wonderful things from His word today.

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 21:1-9

Read these verses three times slowly.

David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, “Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?”

David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”

But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”

David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd.

David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”

The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

Reflection & Questions

David has fled for his life from Saul’s active threats. He turns up at Nob with his men, hungry and in need. In desperation, he goes to the priest Ahimelek for food. David lies about to Ahimelek why he is there, probably in order to protect the priest should Saul ask why he helped David. When no regular food is available, David asks for the consecrated bread. This was bread that according to the law, was meant only for the priests. Ahimilek knew though that the Old Testament Law was given for life, not to prevent it. So feeding the men would be put above the ritual.

This story of Ahimelek and David is drawn upon by Jesus in His ministry. The Pharisees were challenging the fact that Jesus’ disciples were picking grain to eat on the Sabbath (and by connotation, working on the Sabbath). The Pharisees had so squeezed the spirit of the law out of the Old Testament law, that even picking a handful of grain was disallowed. Jesus is having none of it. In Mark 2:38, He says, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, the Sabbath was to help people, not burden people. The Pharisees had turned the law into a heap of burdens on people, even some burdens they were unwilling to carry themselves.

Jesus calls us to practice His ways and these ways are not burdens, but ways to life. He doesn’t call us to a religion but a relationship with Him. We must avoid the danger of “going through the motions” of our faith, for we can easily end up squeezing out the Spirit. Church, serving, Bible reading, prayer are made for us – not us for them. It’s a big difference!

      1. Ahimelek and the Pharisees were religious leaders, yet they had such a different view of their practices. What do you think was the reason behind their different approach?
      2. Are you going through the motions of the faith, or are you connecting with God through your practices? (e.g. Church attendance, serving, Bible reading, prayer) Are you treating these practices as a benefit or a burden?


Talk to God in response to today’s reading.

Worship Song

You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:

Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.


Ed Applegate


  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon Week 4: The King Is Crowned: King David Week 3: David and Saul Pause Week 2: The Boy Week 1: King Saul Week 5: What Is Truth? (EASTER) Week 4: Is Jesus God (Good Thursday) Week 3: What Have You Done?

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