Doeg and Why Are You At Church?

In 1 Samuel 21, David is running from Saul and goes to the temple to talk with the priest, get some food, and a weapon. While there, a guy named Doeg sees him.

It says that Doeg is there because he is “detained before the Lord.” The word “detained” means to be restrained or stopped. God was keeping him there.

In the next chapter, Doeg rats out David and eventually is the only man willing to kill all God’s priests. He’s a real dork. Two things to note about Doeg the Dork:

1) He was at the temple! Presumably he went there to worship God! Just showing up to the building where worship takes place does not mean anything about the state of your soul.

2) God kept him there! God knew there was a plan for Doeg’s life, a bad plan, but a plan nonetheless. God keeps him there so all the priests would be killed.

Man can make a mockery of worship, but God’s plans are not mocked. There is a reason for everything.

Why are you showing up at your church? Are you there to truly worship or are you just playing a game? God will use it, one way or the other, but pray He won’t use you the way He used Doeg.

2 thoughts on “Doeg and Why Are You At Church?”

  1. Jeff, I agree with your application but I think the story of Doeg needs a closer look. The statement that God “detained” Doeg seems to imply that the Lord wanted to have him destroy the priests, and that doesn’t make sense. Why would a righteous God want to destroy the servants of His holy temple?

    It’s clear that Doeg was not a holy man, even though he professed to be serving God. But in the text, Doeg appeared at a time when David was fleeing from Saul…basically unarmed. David was, however, perfectly safe being unarmed, for the Lord had anointed him to be king and He would certainly protect Him until that happened.

    But the Lord didn’t work any immediate miracles to rescue him from the death threats of Saul. It is apparent that the Lord was testing the faith of David.

    Suddenly Doeg appears, just as David is getting food from the High Priest. Then David makes a fatal mistake: he asks the priest for a weapon, and the priest gives him the sword of Goliath.

    You would think that this sword should have reminded David how he had faced a much larger threat with only a sling, and therefore he did not need the weapon that Goliath had put trust in. But no, his faith fails, and he grasps the weapon.

    God allowed the test, by detaining Doeg there at that particular time, but He did not intend David to fail under the test. If David had been faithful, and resisted the temptation to take up Goliath’s sword, then the Lord would have rescued him from the threat of Doeg, and perhaps it would have been Doeg, and not the priests, whose life would have been lost.

    We will understand what the Lord intended in heaven, but of this one thing I am sure: God put Doeg there to test David’s faith, not to slay the priests. It was David’s unbelief that led to the slaughter.

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