KNOWING THE TRUE GOD #11
MERCY NOT SACRIFICE
We now come to a part of David's life that most Bible
readers are acquainted with - David and his men eating the holy
bread of the Temple or Tabernacle (1 Samuel 22).
"And David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest ....and
David said: '...Now therefore what is under thine hand? Give me
five loaves of bread in my hand, or what there is present.' And
the priest answered David and said: 'But it is HALLOWED
bread....'" (verses 1-4).
With a little more inspection and talk it is written: "So
the priest gave him HALLOWED bread, for there was no bread there
but the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord..." (verse
On the surface it would seem that it was very simple for
David to acquire the HOLY bread of the Tabernacle. Not really
quite as easy as just that. We need to remember we are talking
about HOLY sanctified bread from the Tabernacle itself, not from
the pantry of the Priest in his home.
It was God Himself who had commanded the Tabernacle to be
built under Moses, and all the things therein. It was the place
for God to dwell in among the people of Israel. This was NO SMALL
matter per se. We are talking here about something that was HOLY
to the Lord God.
This section a Scripture is a fine example of how we are to
read the Bible. Far too many times people read verses, but fail
to read the CONTEXT, either before or after. All kinds of wrong
and even strange teachings have developed over the centuries,
supposedly backed by the Bible. CONTEXT reading is mighty
IMPORTANT for correct understanding of the things God wants us to
know about Himself and His written word. The Eternal has
DELIBERATELY inspired His word to be written in such a way that
if CONTEXT is not followed, then indeed many different WRONG
ideas and teachings can be said to come from the Bible. And hence
it is a way that God has used to keep people FROM KNOWING THE
TRUTH. Yes, as shocking as it is too many, it is a way that God
uses to keep people BLINDED in spiritual darkness!
As I have proved in other studies on this Website, God is
not CALLING everyone today to salvation. True, as Jesus said,
"Many ARE called," but He went on to say, "BUT FEW are CHOSEN!"
Yet in relative position, the many being called are FEW in the
other-all population of the world; and it has always been so down
through the centuries of mankind on earth.
Sometimes the context reading is not a close context, but a
further away context, that gives us the truth of a certain verse
We have an example of this in the book of Acts. I want you
to turn and read Acts 8:4. Now put this verse with chapter 11:19.
Ah, do you see what I mean? This is a very fine example of
CONTEXT reading. With context reading it is also very important
to have a good memory, for from reading Acts 8:4, you have to
remember it, so when you get to Acts 11:19, it all comes back to
you, and you can put it all together to find the truth and to let
the Bible interpreting itself from one verse to another verse.
This is one reason WHY God has "ministers" - His TRUE
ministers. They need to have a good sharp memory mind, to be able
to correctly cut the word of God, on the straight and narrow
pathway that leads to truth and righteousness and ultimately
eternal life, for not only themselves, but for the flock of God
they are guiding and teaching. God does give them the mind they
need to do the work of the ministry. It is NOT for just anyone or
everyone. The calling to the ministry of Jesus Christ is a
calling whereby the Lord gives the gifts of the Spirit, and in
this case to be a leader in spiritual matters, the gift of a
clear and good memory mind is very important.
This is not to take away from the average member of the
sheep of the Lord, to study and to know the correct teachings of
the Lord; it is to just point out that one reason God DOES HAVE
called out persons as Elders or leaders of the flock. They are
given a special ability with the mind to remember and put
together correctly the often jig-saw puzzle of the writings of the
Back to 1 Samuel. You need to continue to read all the way
to chapter 22 and verses 9 and 10, to get the FULL understanding
of what was going on in chapter 21:3-6.
This request of David's was NOT TAKEN LIGHTLY! The Priest
INQUIRED OF THE LORD FOR HIM and gave him victuals..." (verse
The Pharisees of Christ's day had set up all kinds of rules
and regulations for people to follow in obeying the Sabbath Day
commandment; rules and regulations that are nowhere found in the
writings of the Bible or the law of Moses. They condemned Jesus'
disciples one Sabbath for breaking one of their laws, as they
interpreted the Sabbath commandment (Mat.12:1-2).
Jesus' disciples were just probably a little hungry at the
time; they were walking through the wheat fields, and just
plucking some grains of wheat from the stork, rubbing them
between the hands and eating a little. The Pharisees were up in
arms as we say, over this incident. Jesus looked at them and told
them the true story of David and his men eating the bread from
the Tabernacle, as we have just seen in 1 Samuel.
The POINT Jesus made to them was that God in heaven, as the
law giver, the one who is in charge, the one who has the right
and authority over everything, CAN IF HE DECIDES, CHANGE THE
IMPORTANCE OF THIS LAW OVER AGAINST ANOTHER LAW THAT BECOMES AND
IS DETERMINED BY HIM, TO BE THE MORE IMPORTANT LAW!
JESUS SAID THERE ARE SOME THING THAT CAN BE MORE IMPORTANT
TO DO THAN OTHER THINGS THAT ARE PART OF A PHYSICAL TEMPLE OR
Jesus went on to say to those Pharisees, "BUT IF you had
KNOWN what the true meaning of all this is, which is: I WILL HAVE
MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE, you would not have condemned the
guiltless" (verse 7).
When we read the Bible correctly, we should come to KNOW the
nature of God in a very real and personal way. We should come to
see that all of OUR emotions ARE GIVEN TO US FROM GOD BECAUSE HE
HAS ALL THOSE EMOTIONS HIMSELF!!
As Jesus said elsewhere, "What father will give a stone to
his son, when the son asks for a loaf of bread." This is the
GENERAL way of life (Jesus was not thinking about the crazy evil
fathers that have no love for their children) - it is MERCY,
LOVE, over and above physical ... whatever.
Yes the bread of the Tabernacle was HOLY, the Tabernacle and
all its service was instituted by the Lord; it was not to be
taken lightly; nothing the Lord does or says should be
taken lightly. And the truth of the matter is that David nor
the Priest TOOK THIS REQUEST of David's lightly. The Priest
INQUIRED of the Lord concerning the matter. David I'm sure KNEW
the mind of the Lord, he had walked with Him through hell and
high water as they say. David had a darn good idea what the Lord
would answer concerning this matter. And the Lord answered with a
YES!! God said, MERCY is greater than sacrifice. Some physical
things though instituted by the Lord, are NOT AS IMPORTANT AS
MERCY AND LOVE AND KINDNESS!!
We need to NEVER FORGET that truth! Do not take lightly what
God has instituted, but on the other hand it is always what God
said through the prophet Hosea:
"I WILL HAVE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE; AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
MORE THAN BURNT OFFERINGS" (Hosea 6:6).
"HE HAS SHOWN YOU, O MAN, WHAT IS GOOD; AND WHAT THE LORD
REQUIRES OF YOU, BUT TO DO JUSTLY, AND TO LOVE MERCY, AND TO WALK
HUMBLY WITH THY GOD" (Micah 6:8).
Both the Priest and David did walk humbly with God, they
INQUIRED of the Lord concerning the matter, and very predictably,
it was a situation where MERCY overruled sacrifice!
You need to keep it that way, in all you do, in all the ways
that you shall live! It is one more way to KNOW the true God!
To be continued