Read: 1 Samuel 21:1-6
“Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here… So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the Lord and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.
1 Samuel 21:3-4a,6
A Unique Exception to God’s Laws by Grace
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Have you ever turned homework in late? If so, what was the reason? What did your teacher do?
The teacher has every right to lower your grade if your homework is late, don’t they? They made a rule as to when the homework was due, but you didn’t follow the rule.
Perhaps you were sick or had a really bad day, and that’s why your homework was turned in late. If your teacher didn’t lower your grade even though it was turned in late, they gave you a unique exception to their rule. They showed you grace, perhaps because they saw you were in need! (Maybe you can even thank them in person for that act of grace.)
That’s what happened to David. He and his friends were running for their lives from King Saul. They were very hungry. The only food around was special bread that was dedicated to the Lord. God made a law that this bread was only to be eaten by the priests, so the priest could have turned David away.
But God had compassion on David, so he caused Ahimelek, the priest, to give the bread to David and his friends. God knew David needed that bread to survive. Even though it was “breaking the rules,” God gave him the bread and showed grace to him and his friends. Jesus even mentions this story of grace when he’s talking with the Pharisees (check out Mark 2:23-28 from Monday’s devotion).
God cares for us deeply. His rules are important, and he wants them to be followed. They are for our own good (Just like the teacher’s rule of turning your homework in on time). And God also knows when we most need grace on a daily basis—when we need compassion when we haven’t followed his rules.
In fact, the whole reason God sent Jesus was because he cares about the rules AND he cares about us even more! Since Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross in our place, he made up for all the times we didn’t follow the rules and he paid the price for us breaking the rules.
So thank God today for his grace—that’s his undeserved, one-way love. There are so many times each day you probably don’t realize that God shows you grace. That’s who he is.
Can you trust a God like that? Absolutely! So trust him in everything today.
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much. Thank you for finding a way to save me through Jesus. This was your best act of grace! Help me see the daily, little ways you show me grace. Help me trust you more and more since you’re such an amazing God. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What did David want the priest to give him?
- What did Jesus do to show us grace?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Why did Ahimelek make an exception to the rule for David and his friends?
- As a family, have each person think of one way God showed them a little bit of grace today or yesterday.
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Explain this statement: Sending Jesus to live and die for us is proof that God cares deeply about his rules (his holiness) and also cares deeply about every single person.
- What’s one challenging thing you’ve been wanting to do, but you haven’t tried? What if you took a risk and gave it a shot? Is this a time to trust God’s grace?
Hymn: CW 381:1,2 – Grace Has a Thrilling Sound
Grace has a thrilling sound To each believer’s ear;
That peace with God through Christ is found Is news I gladly hear.
Grace led my wand’ring feet To tread the heav’nly road,
And grace supplies each hour I meet While pressing on to God.