The king then ordered Doeg, “You turn and strike down the priests.” So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. – 1Sam. 22:18 NIV
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Doeg an Edomite was the chief shepherd in the army of King Saul (1Sam. 21:7) but for personal reasons, he was in Nob to seek spiritual intervention and as part of that intervention, he was placed before the Lord in the temple when David in the course of his running away from King Saul arrived at the temple – 1Sam. 21:1-6. Instead of Doeg meditating on his personal challenges as he was being laid before the Lord, he was busy ease-dropping into the conversation between David, then a fugitive and the Priest – 1Sam. 21:8-9. He was to later report all the events that transpired at that meeting in the house of the Lord at Nob to King Saul who wasted no time in arranging for soldiers to capture David at Nob.
Fortunately for David, he did not wait too long there as he moved almost immediately to Gath (1Sam. 21:10-15) but the priests were not that lucky. Believing that the Priests were aligning with David against him, King Saul ordered that they be killed. Although the soldiers with him refused to implement the order, Doeg did not have any problem implementing it as he even went further to kill every living thing in the town of Nob – 1Sam 22:18-19.
Some points pop out from this event some of which are as follows:
1. Enemies abound everywhere with the house of the Lord not excluded. The erroneous belief that everybody in church came to meet with God for solutions to their challenges and so are brothers in the Lord should be discarded. Some see your downfall as that their long sought after solution or how else can one explain the action of Doeg in this situation. He probably saw betrayal of both the Priests and David, a co-worshipper as a stepping stone into his glory in life. The Church is similar to a clinic where there is a mixture of sick and not so sick people. To expect everyone to operate in spiritual maturity is to live in utopia. It may be called the gathering of saints but it is not all the people in that gathering that are saints. Only the Almighty determines that. Take the necessary precaution to avoid regrets. Relate with everyone on individual basis and not collective after all the Almighty God does not relate to the Church as a group either. Do not make yourself a victim of spiritual naivety.
2. Not everyone who is in church mind their business. To expect everyone in church to mind their business no maťter how bad their situation may seem is another expectation that is not real. They will probably not be in that bad shape if they were minding their business in the first place. Keep your issues to yourself and share with those that it needs to be shared with else you may just be talking yourself into trouble. That information that brought you into the current physical and spiritual mess that you are in may have been provided by someone within the Church because you did control the information coming out from you. Learn to be more controlled in your pronouncements and the solution to your situation may just have been found.
3. No matter how much favour you do to people, it may still be insufficient to earn their loyalty. It is not unusual to hear people talk about how disappointed they are with someone or a group of people for actions that fall short of expectations and bothers on disloyalty. This is an assumption that everyone is Church have a grateful mind. The truth remains that ingratitude to God is rampant so why will an ordinary man be expecting gratitude from a fellow man which is what the foundation of loyalty is. One would have thought that Doeg will think of the activities of the Priest in trying to help solve the challenges of his life but that will only happen if gratitude is part of the virtues resident in Doeg. One who cannot show gratitude to God cannot do same for man and vice-versa. Wake up and smell the coffee. Man will always be man so stop all those high expectations after all you may also have shown so much ingratitude and disloyalty to God.
4. A church goer may not necessarily be someone with fear of committing evil. That someone spends all the time before the Lord does not mean that such a person has godly thoughts. Whereas the soldiers of Saul who are likely not to be that religious as Doeg were not willing to carry out that deadly instruction, Doeg who carries the identity of someone who relies on God for help did not have any scruples killing not one but everybody, adult and children and animals in Nob. To think that Christian will not kill you at the first opportunity despite the fact that you are his priest or prophet or benefactor is another lie from the pit of hell. He or she will go further than you can ever imagine. The people that Doeg killed were the same these people whom he had few hours earlier paid obeisance to as spiritual leaders. It meant nothing to him when he had to please his temporal lords.
The action of Doeg led to the death, spiritually and physically of many people in Nob most of whom do not even have an idea of why they died. Their only crime was that they were living in Nob and they had to deal with someone who lacked conscience and fear of God. Do not take your security for granted. Prove every relationship to be true and trustworthy before dropping your guards. You are responsible for yourself.
Doeg probably did what he did because he wanted to have the favour of his master irrespective of the amount of innocent blood he had to shed. To think that such an individual with such character is seeking the face of the Lord which was why he was at Nob in the first place is unimaginable. He will only continue to experience evil as that is what he is always brewing in his mind.
When the Priest at Nob welcomed Doeg, it is sure he never knew that he was welcoming death else he would probably have taken the necessary precaution. Christian leaders need to be wary of people, especially those who are ambitious and seeking positions of power as not doing that could just be the beginning of there end spiritually if not physically too. Proper and regular assessment of individuals from the spiritual perspective is very important to avoid the kind of fate that befell the Priests and the people at Nob. They felt they were helping Doeg without trying to confirm the personality of Doeg which is probably the reason for his problem in the first place. They eventually became a victim of that person that Doeg was. Had they been more thorough, they may have been able to avoid untimely death for themselves and others whilst helping Doeg to be a better person.
May God grant us the Grace to see people for who they really are and to attend to the root of their issues to save us and people around us from untimely spiritual and or physical death in Jesus name. Amen.