“Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.”
I Samuel 22:23
Saul was relentlessly pursuing David, following any information that might lead him to the son of Jesse, and destroying anyone perceived to be David’s friend. Saul heard that Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, had given David food and the sword of Goliath. Because of Saul’s insane jealousy and fear, he ordered the murder of eighty-five innocent priests, including Ahimelech. One of Ahimelech’s family members, Abiathar, escaped and delivered the gruesome news to David. Abiathar knew that his life would be in danger. Was there any place that he would be safe from Saul? David promised Abiathar the protection and defense he so desperately needed, as is recorded in our text. “Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.” As long as Abiathar would remain with David, David promised him a place of safety.
It would be a fearful thing to know that someone is determined to take your life, and to have to live in the constant awareness that you are in danger. What a comforting thing it was for Abiathar to know that David would take responsibility for his safety. We also have a perpetual enemy. Satan wants to destroy our lives, our testimonies, our families, and our ministries. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Jesus teaches us that our spiritual enemy is bent on our destruction. Like a lion stalking his prey, he looks for opportunities to attack. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).
Thank God that we also have a place of safety. We are no match for the enemy in our strength alone. He is clever, cunning, and effective. Just as David could promise protection to Abiathar, our Savior promises to be for us a place of refuge. He is our Shepherd, and He protects His flock. For the enemy to get to us, he must go through Jesus. The closer we stay to Jesus, the safer we will be. The devil wants to lure us away from the side of the Shepherd and the fellowship of the church family, that we might be more vulnerable to his attack. There is a place of safety for the child of God. Our Lord is a shelter in the time of storm.