It had been a hard three days. David and the handful of young men with him had left in hurry and they had taken no food. By the time they got to a place called Nob, they were in a bad way. They needed food and there was only one place David thought they might get something to eat. So he went to the priest at the tabernacle, a man named Ahimelech.
1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?
2 And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have sent my servants on ahead.
Now, David lied to the priest, because Saul hadn’t sent him anywhere. David was running for his life from Saul because Saul had ordered him to be killed. Should he have done that? Should he have lied to the priest? Well, he goes on to compound his lawbreaking.
3 Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.
4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.
5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.
6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
Now, this is a real classic of rationalization, of reasoning your way around the law because the law was clear as crystal. If you were the judge, what would you do about this infraction. Because it was an infraction of the law—this is beyond dispute. Only the priests were allowed, by law, to eat the holy bread. How do you think God would judge it? Well, fortunately, we have a clue, because Jesus himself evaluated this instance.