The Danger of Deception (1 Samuel 21:1–2) - Radical
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The Danger of Deception (1 Samuel 21:1–2)

“Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with the matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place.”
– 1 Samuel 21:1–2

So, in this story, David is fleeing from King Saul. What happens in 1 Samuel 21:1–2 is David comes to Nob and speaks with Ahimelech the priest, is that David is deceptive. And David lies here, saying that he’s on some official business for the king. And that lie, we find out later, will result in the deaths of Ahimelech as well as the priests at Nob.

Might we in our own lives take sin as seriously as God does.

David Also Deals With Sin

So, this is a sobering passage when you think about it. Because, yes, David was in many ways a man after God’s own heart. At the same time, we see sinfulness, deception, lying, and evil in David. In his life that will lead to catastrophic consequences in others’ lives.

Here it’s Ahimelech, the other priests at Nob. Later it will be Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. And others will follow after that. We cannot overestimate the effects of sin in our lives. The effects here of lying, of deception, of a lack of honesty.

Seeing the Seriousness of Sin

I just want to encourage you, even as I encourage myself, to see sin as seriously as the Bible sees it. To see a small lie in our eyes as seriously as the Bible sees it. Any lack of honesty or integrity in us is serious before God.

If we’re not careful, we can get into a routine where lying, half-truths, deceiving, hiding this or that, can start to seem like no big deal to us. But when we compromise with sin in what seems like small ways, we have no idea of the effects. Not only of that sin on others but that sin and our lack of sensitivity to it, as we face further temptation in our lives. And we grow more casual with sin in our hearts.

1 Samuel 21:1–2: Asking God to Purify Our Hearts

Oh, God, we need your help. We need you to purify us. God, we pray. I pray for my own heart and life. God, I pray for those who are listening right now, God please help us to speak honestly today. Please help us not to in any way deceive others, to share half-truths in an effort to preserve ourselves, in an effort to promote some agenda.

Asking God to Make Us Sensitive to Sin

God, help us to speak in ways that honor you and glorify you and honor others. Lord, we pray for honesty in our lives. God, we pray for integrity in our lives. God, we pray for sensitivity to sin. Help us not to in any way become casual with sin, even sin that we might think is small that will then create in us a heart that is hard toward you. Toward your Spirit’s promptings when we are tempted to sin in other ways.

God, we pray for pure hearts before you. For pure lips before you and before others. God, please, make us holy, we pray. Make us holy today. Help us to turn from sin and temptation today. To pursue righteousness and holiness before you. That you might be pleased, that others might be edified, and that we might experience the full joy of walking according to your word.

May it be so, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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