“So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.”
~ 1 Samuel 21:13
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you think that there are times when it is okay to be deceptive? Have you ever deliberately told a lie to protect a good kid friend from being punished by saying that you were the one who did what your good kid friend had done and should be punished for doing? Have you ever deliberately told a lie that would help a really scared good kid friend to not to be scared anymore by conveying to your good kid friend that everything was going to be okay when it was really obvious that everything was not going to be okay? Have you ever deliberately told a lie to keep a good kid friend from knowing a secret by informing your good kid friend that a special gift that your good kid friend really wanted was not going to be bought when in reality you knew that the special gift had already been bought? How do you feel about ‘white lies’? What do you think about ‘Christmas lies’? How do you feel about being misleading, disingenuous or duping in order not to be hurt or killed? What do you think about being deceitful, ambiguous or hoodwinking in order to keep a good friend from being hurt or killed? Samuel recounts a couple of David’s deceptions in what is now 1 Samuel 21. Possibly not to implicate a high priest in his escape from King Saul, David told the acting high priest – Ahimelech, that King Saul had sent him to the town of Nob on a secret mission with special instructions that no one else was to know where he was. When David saw how scared Ahimelech was in the way that Ahimelech was trembling when Ahimelech first saw him, David made up a story to help Ahimelech to not to be so scared. Even though David was completely alone when he showed up in Nob – a town that is located just northeast of the city of Jerusalem and south of the town of Gibeah – which is the town where the temple of God was taken after the town of Shiloh – which is where the temple of God had been, had been destroyed, David told Ahimelech that he was going to meet up later with his guys at a predetermined place and that he wanted to take some bread with him for them to eat. Ahimelech was okay with giving David the loaves of bread that had been baked to be used in the temple of God as the bread of the Presence – as long as David’s guys were ‘consecrated’. Being ‘consecrated’ at this time was for a guy to be ceremonially clean before he could eat a consecrated loaf of bread that had been baked to be used in the temple of God. Your grandpaa thinks that David wanted the bread for himself as he probably was really hungry – so he told a lie in order to get something to eat. How do you feel or what do you think about what David did to get something to eat that he probably should not have been permitted to eat?
God – as God the Son – Jesus, would later use what David did to argue the case that a ceremonial law was not to be viewed in a legalistic way. Matthew wrote what Jesus said about this in his Matthew Book. Jesus was also very adamant in His teachings that it is always lawful to do good and to save a life. Luke reported Jesus expressly saying this in his Luke Book. If there is a premise or an argument that compassionate acts are always within the true spirit of the law, this premise or argument could quite possibly supersede or supplant deceptions. Your grandpaa does not want to go down that road believing that deception is okay as . . . it just really seems like to your grandpaa that it will lead to a very slippery slope that will ultimately lead to another deception that will lead to . . . your grandpaa does not know of a time when a deliberate lie helped in a positive way; your grandpaa has witnessed a deliberate lie acerbating an integrity compromising situation to go from bad to worse. When your grandpaa first began working as a loan payment collector in the Liberty Loan office in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, your grandpaa became known as the guy there who could find ‘skips’. A ‘skip’ is a guy, gal or couple who moved from where he, she or they were living without telling his, her or their creditors where he, she or they were moving to. A ‘skip’ wants to get away from having to pay the bills and loans that he, she or they have accumulated. Your grandpaa would have personal information in the loan file of a skip that included references that would help him find a skip. Your grandpaa would concoct stories to try to get a ‘skip’s’ relative, friend or neighbor to tell him where the ‘skip’ had moved. One of the untrue stories that your grandpaa fabricated was that he was with Welcome Wagon and that he needed the ‘skip’s’ address in order to deliver some goodies to the house where the ‘skip’ was living. In order to fool a ‘skip’s’ relative, friend or neighbor . . . your grandpaa had to make his made up story really involved and . . . and your grandpaa would almost invariably find where the ‘skip’ was living. After your grandmaa, grandpaa and dad in 1970 relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and after your grandpaa began working in the Beneficial Finance office that was in Sioux Falls as a loan payment collector, one of the first times that your grandpaa began to try to find a ‘skip’ by using the fabricated Welcome Wagon ploy, one of the gals who worked in the office – who knew that your grandpaa was a Christ-follower, looked at your grandpaa and said to him “I thought that Christians (Christ-followers) did not lie.” Your grandpaa decided right then and there to never again make up another story in order to . . .
David would later pull another deceptive stunt after he ended up in the land area – in the town of Gath, where Philistine people groups guys and gals lived. When King Achish – who was Gath’s king, recognized David, Samuel relates in verse 13 what David did. “So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.” How do you feel or what do you think about what David did so that he would not be killed by some Philistine people group guys?
1 Samuel 21 (676)