Commentary on "Abiathar: The Priest"
Day 2: Sunday, November 7, 2010 - Lies and Tragedy
The lesson begins with ten questions; the primary objective of the lesson author is to identify the consequences of making wrong choices and being dishonest.
Given a list of questions like this, we can simply read the story and identify the historical account of what actually happened. Tucked in with all these questions is one that asks us to speculate about the correctness of David’s response to the slaughter of Saul’s priests and their families. The question reads:
How did David respond to the news of the massacre? In what ways was his response correct?
There are certainly experiences in the life of David in which we can easily identify responses that are Godly responses of David to sin. When Nathan came to David about his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband and his response to that sin we can easily identify the Godly response of David. To state that David’s response following the massacre as “correct” or “incorrect” in some way is to read into the text information that is not provided by the text.
David sinned and he repented. We must be careful not to read into Bible passages information that is not contained in those passages.
In the teacher’s notes on page 79 of the Teacher’s Quarterly, we find the following statements and questions:
We, too, are chosen as priests, to serve God in prayer, praise, and intermediation in good times and bad. How may we disqualify ourselves as Abiathar did?
Is there something we must do to qualify ourselves for service in God’s royal priesthood? Why, or why not?
Priests of God, according to the New Covenant which he made with his son, Jesus Christ, cannot be disqualified except by unbelief. Nor do we “qualify ourselves” as suggested by the second question. All qualifying for believers has been done by Jesus and his finished work of atonement on the cross. Belief in that once-for-all saving act is the qualification. To suggest that one believer is better in some way than another believer is to commit the sin described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1; the sin of partiality. For this reason the priesthood is now called the priesthood of all believers, not the priesthood of some believers.
If you are trusting in Christ’s finished work on the cross alone, not in your performance or keeping some special commandment, then you are qualified to be a member of the priesthood of all believers. Trusting in anything other than, or along with, trust in Christ disqualifies you for membership in this priesthood.
Let us make sure that we trust in nothing other than Jesus and his finished work.
Always bear in mind his final cry from the cross, recorded in John 19:30:
It is finished.
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