The Story of 1 Samuel | Abiathar & the Ephod | 1 Samuel 23.1-6 |

by | Nov 17, 2020

“When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!” Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.” So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)” 1 Samuel 23.1-6

In reading this passage it’s almost to easy to miss the most important part of this story. In the first half of this chapter, when David and his men are in Judah and the attack upon the Philistines is imminent, Abiathar son of Ahimelek has brought down the ephod with him when he came to David at Keilah. (It’s almost added as a footnote.)

What is the ephod? Simply put, it’s the priestly garment worn by the high priest when ministering before the Lord and making sacrifices. Exodus 28.6-14 describes it in detail. It represented the twelve tribes of Israel and contained the divination pieces used to determine the will of God for the people (for more

The ephod represented God and his blessings. Saul destroyed all the priests except for Abiathar, the son of the high priest who escaped and came to David with the ephod. I.e. with God’s blessing! We know the hand of God was upon David but having the ephod with them was not only symbolic it was significant. It was through this garment that David discerned if or when to attack the Philistines and to rescue the city Keilah from their grasp.

Although we do not have or require an ephod today for ministering before the Lord or even discerning his will, we do have His Holy Spirit, God’s presence with us. We have the Lord, or rather, he has us. We are to give him our attention today, our focus and our desires. Just as David went to Abiathar and the ephod to determine the next steps, so we must go to the Lord for every decision of every day.

Isn’t it amazing to know we have a God, who draws near to us? Isn’t it wonderful that at any moment of any hour we can call upon this God who in Jesus Christ, came to earth so we might have life today and life eternal?

Praise be to God who loves us with an everlasting love. Turn to Christ today. Do not reject his desire to draw you into a relationship with himself. Know that he is good and that he is God.

“O Lord God, I love you. Though I struggle, you rescue me. Though I sin, you heal me. Thought I doubt, you believe in me. Come now, Holy Spirit, guide my steps. Help me be all you have called me to be by your grace and for your glory. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen