Just an Innocent Lie


1 Samuel 22:16-17a (NIV)
16But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.”
17Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.”


Why did King Saul have all the priests killed? Simple: Ahimelech, the chief priest, committed mutiny. He gave aid to an enemy of the king. The only thing is he didn’t know he was doing it.

You see, David had been becoming more and more popular even since slaying Goliath. Saul was jealous of David’s success and knew that he would soon be so popular he’d take over the kingdom. So, Saul wanted him dead. He tried to spear David in the royal dining room, and David went on the run. He left without taking any provisions or weapons. When he came to Ahimelech’s house, the priest wanted to know why David was traveling alone. David lied. He told Ahimelech he was on a top-secret mission for the king and nobody else could know about it. Ahimelech was loyal to the king and wanted to help with the mission. So, he gave David bread and a sword.

Since the priest had no use for a sword and he had a bunch of extra bread around, David didn’t see the harm in his lie. But because of his lie, Ahimelech and dozens of others lost their lives.

It’s hard to know what the cost of dishonesty will be. But there will always be consequences for a lie. It could be feeling guilty. It could be losing the trust of a parent or friend. The best bet is always the truth.


Sometimes it seems like it’s easier to lie. But nothing good comes out of dishonesty. Whenever you’re tempted to lie, pray to God and ask for the strength and courage to tell the truth.


If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.