Saul wanted to kill David, and Jonathon could not protect David. David knew he had to run to a place beyond Saul’s control. David found his way to the house of the LORD. There he received 2 items of great significance. The full story is recorded in chapter 21 of 1 Samuel.
- Bread. David asked for food but there was only the holy bread. The bread was meant for the priests, thus it was unlawful for David to eat the bread. Yet it was given to David and his men. I see this as grace extended to them, or perhaps a special provision. Jesus used this to illustrate mercy is preferred over sacrifice (see Matthew 12:3-7)
- Sword. David asked for a weapon. He was given the sword of Goliath, the Philistine he had killed in his younger days. It seems that back then David had dedicated the sword to the LORD, thus the sword was in the tabernacle. It was now given to him. Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary that this showed that whatever we devote to God for praise or service is likely to redound to our comfort and benefit. Holding that sword in his hand probably also reminded David of how the LORD had helped him to defeat the giant back then, thus strengthening his faith.
In his distress, David turned to the LORD, and was provided with things he needed: by grace he received holy bread to replenish his strength, and he was given a sword to defend himself and strengthen his faith. We should also remember to turn to the LORD in our distress, and trusting Him for provision.