1 Samuel 22:6-23 tells the story of what happened next after David had sought sanctuary, food and weapons from the priest Ahimelek at Nob. It’s a sad story, with Saul’s paranoia and murderous rage being given free rein, and Doeg the Edomite willing not only to betray David by telling Saul what he had seen but also to kill not only the priests at Nob but the innocent infants, children and livestock there. It’s a sober reminder to us all that ‘a man reaps what he sows’ (Gal 6:9) and that there are always consequences to our actions.

We live in a fallen world, marred by sin. Saul, by this time, is thoroughly consumed by jealousy and terror, unable to listen to reason, seeing conspiracy and treachery everywhere. Being in a position of power in this state was disastrous for individuals (85 priests were killed in one day) but also for a nation called to be the people of God. Doeg the Edomite was unscrupulous, wishing to curry favour with the king, so when other officials balked at the command to kill God’s priests, he had no such qualms. David wrote about him in Psalm 52, reflecting that the evil man must be left to God’s justice. It must have been extremely difficult for David to see evil flourishing all around him, but he promised Abiathar, the only survivor of the senseless massacre, protection. (1 Sam 22:22-23) We cannot avoid the consequences of sin around us, but we can act in right ways ourselves when we see evil flourish.