1 Samuel 21:1-6 (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 appointed my servants to such and such a place. (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 shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away. This chapter sets forth a series of curious actions on David's part which outwardly appear to be unjustifiable. For today we focus on the fact that he misrepresented the purpose of his mission to Ahimelech the priest (vs.1-2) so as to secure nourishment for himself and a few men that apparently were with him (MAT 12:4). The bread which David asked of Ahimelech was shewbread on a table set always before the Lord (EXO 25:30), a "continual shewbread" (2CH 2:4). Here then was a table of the Lord with a continual bread and the spiritual eye may see in this something which speaks of the perpetuity of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose table and bread has ever been kept therein though hell itself should try to eradicate it (MAT 16:16-19 c/w REV 12:13-17 c/w LUK 22:29-30 c/w 1CO 11:23-26). Both tables speak of a heavenly sanctuary to where the "...living bread which came down from heaven..." (JOH 6:51) returned (HEB 9:24) and there "...he continueth ever....seeing he ever liveth to make intercession..." (HEB 7:24-25). Now what David did (per our text) was technically unlawful. The Lord Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests" (MAT 12:3-4)? Now the reason that it was unlawful for David or his men to eat the shewbread was because God had specified that the shewbread was for the priests (LEV 24:5-9). This automatically made it unlawful for anyone else. This is a principle which holds throughout Scripture, i.e., that the commandments of God admit to no additions, diminutions or "improvements." See DEU 4:2. Those today who aver that it is proper to ordain women into the office of the ministry should be taking notes on this principle, for God said "A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife..." (1TIM 3:2) which, by the Christ-authorized principle of MAT 12:3-4, excludes women. And just in case we missed the point, the same God also wrote concerning conduct in the church, "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" (1TIM 2:12). But there remains a lingering question concerning today's text: How is it that David did something unlawful for which we read of no rebuke then and neither did Christ cast David's actions in a negative light? The answer lies in the heirarchial nature of God's laws. There are "...least commandments..." (MAT 5:19) and "...weightier matters of the law..." (MAT 23:23). When two laws come into conflict, the higher (weightier) law takes precedence. In David's case, the law of the preservation of life was weightier than the ceremonial restriction on the shewbread because "To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice" (PRO 21:3) and the Lord "...will have mercy, and not sacrifice..." (HOS 6:6 c/w MAT 12:7). Any who have thought ill of David for his expediency concerning the shewbread would do well to ponder Jesus' treatment of David's act and "...if ye had known what this meaneth.....ye would not have condemned the guiltless" (MAT 12:7).