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Kangaroo Court

“Off with his head!”

1 Samuel 22:9–15

Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who was set over the servants of Saul, and said, “I saw the son of Jesse going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he inquired of the LORD for him, gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

So the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob. And they all came to the king. And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub!”

He answered, “Here I am, my lord.”

Then 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, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as it is this day?”

So Ahimelech answered the king and said, “And who among all your servants is as faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, who goes at your bidding, and is honorable in your house? Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? Far be it from me! Let not the king impute anything to his servant, or to any in the house of my father. For your servant knew nothing of all this, little or much.”

Welcome to kangaroo court. Doeg somehow manages to not recall anything that David said. David’s lies about being there on the king’s business are the foundation of everything that happened. Doeg heard and saw all that. Ahimelech has an airtight defense.

Or at least he should have an airtight defense. But Ahimelech gets thrown off track by Saul’s claim that David is out to get him. He doesn’t seem to realize the danger he’s in, so he reflexively defends David. This could have been the right thing to do—in a different court. But here, his defense of David hurts his case. At the end, he pleads ignorance of anything related to palace intrigue, but it’s too little too late.

None of that may have mattered anyway. Even if Doeg had told the whole truth about David’s interaction with Ahimelech, the fact that Ahimelech helped David is more than enough to set Saul off. The Queen of Hearts has nothing on this loony-tunes.

“Off with his head!”

Kangaroo courts are all too familiar to Christians. The saints have, throughout history, been subject to persecution and injustice. Jesus warned us that this would happen.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” — Matthew 5:11

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” — John 15:18–19

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to the DEEP click here:

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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