Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.
— First Samuel 22:18
Because the priests of Nob had sustained David with some of the holy showbread, Saul had the entire village of priests destroyed (1 Sam. 22: 11–19). Only one priest, Abiathar, was able to escape. At one time, Saul had been good, but this time, he had become a different person. That is why he could carry out such an atrocity. Because of a few loaves of bread, he slaughtered eighty-five priests, along with the entire town of Nob, including men, women, and children. He did not even spare the infants.
How could one who had been anointed by God become so evil? Remember, Saul became who he was due to religion. Let this become a warning to us, for the hatred generated by religion far exceeds the hatred generated by other matters. In politics, for example, opponents can still shake hands and respect one another. In religion, however, a man may hate his opponent beyond all reason. As lovers of Jesus, how careful we must be not to become involved in religion! Those we trust can utterly betray us. We must be aware that such things can happen. This has become the testimony of many of the great servants of the Lord.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, page 60.
Tomorrow: “Seeking Refuge among the Philistines”