“Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest:”
1 Samuel 21:1
For many years my family and I have been involved in regular ministry to the poor. On a few occasions people have asked me “What church are your guys from?” Never has anyone ask me, “What secular humanist organization are you with”? Or “what Mosque or Buddhist Temple are you from?” How strange it is, therefore, that the wealthy, the self-sufficient, and the allegedly educated among us look down on the church as outdated and irrelevant (if not downright harmful). The needy in our city have a very different opinion on things. They recognize, even if others refuse to, the connection between practical benevolence and the faith of God’s people. David understood this 3,000 years ago! Hunted and running for his life, David fled to the town of Nob to ask Ahimelech the priest for provisions for himself and his weary followers. He knew the Law; he knew that God’s people could be relied upon to help the poor and needy (Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 19:10; 25:35; Deuteronomy 15:7, 9, 11). Our concern for the poor and needy stems from our regenerated hearts and our own redemptive histories. We too were poor in spirit; we had nothing with which to commend ourselves to God. Praise the Lord, the blessed God Himself came into the world preaching good news to us who were spiritually destitute. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” said the Lord, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:3-4). Recognizing our spiritual bankruptcy we came to the Lord, mourning for our sins. As a maximal expression of His love and grace, Christ’s redemptive work made possible the greatest exchange in history. Paul explains that “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ took our sin and guilt and gave us His innocence and righteousness (Romans 3:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We who have come to Him in deep need and spiritual poverty have followed the Good Shepherd’s wise counsel, to purchase from Him, with our faith alone (Romans 5:4-5), true spiritual riches (Revelation 3:18). We rejoice in so great a salvation and so great a Savior, and we marvel that God would not spare His only Son to accomplish this great redemptive work, but would deliver Him up for us all (Romans 8:32). In love and gratitude to God for meeting our great need, may we follow the apostle’s instructions to “not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10). May this meditation spur us all on to joyful love and good works.