Every heard of the city called Nob? It was a lovely city filled with worshipers of God living in personal integrity and grace. However, the king in whose land this city was, was a wicked king. Through personal vengeance he ordered what can only be described as a massacre. Nob was known as a place of the worship of God, where God provided for His chosen ones. Instead, Nob stands as a witness to how sin, if not repented of, eventually dispels all grace, reason, and righteousness. Sin, if not tempered in one’s heart, increases, both in quantity and in quality. Sin breeds more sin—worse sin. Let the memory of Nob tell the story.
Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king.1 Samuel 22:11-19
And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub.”
And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.”
And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?”
Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.”
And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.”
And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the LORD.
Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword.
We admire Ahimelech and the worshipers of Nob who died for doing what is right. We also, to some extent, admire the refusal of Saul’s servants to kill the priests. But what really stands out in this all, is how Saul can go from his hatred of David (the son of Jesse) to the comprehensive massacre of an entire town in the space of a rather short conversation.
Kill sin in you, before the sin in you kills many. Remember Nob.