1 Samuel 21:1 David went to Ahimelech the priest at Nob. Ahimelech was afraid to meet David, so he said to him, “Why are you alone and no one is with you?” 2 David answered Ahimelech the priest, “The king gave me a mission, but he told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on or what I have ordered you to do.’ I have stationed my young men at a certain place.”
David was running for his life from King Saul because King Saul was paranoid and sinfully vengeful. David ran to Ahimelech. He lied to Ahimelech as stated in the passage above. I wondered why as I read this passage today. Did this please God? Is this an example to follow? Is it ok to lie in some circumstances like the one David was on?
I don’t have good answers to the lying question. But I think I know why David lied to Ahimelech. The author writes in the next chapter:
13 Saul asked him, “Why did you and Jesse’s son conspire against me? You gave him bread and a sword and inquired of God for him, so he could rise up against me and wait in ambush, as is the case today.” 14 Ahimelech replied to the king: “Who among all your servants is as faithful as David? He is the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your house. 15 Was today the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Please don’t let the king make an accusation against your servant or any of my father’s household, for your servant didn’t have any idea about all this.” 16 But the king said, “You will die, Ahimelech—you and your father’s whole family!”
Ahimelech can say verse 15 with all honesty: “Please don’t let the king make an accusation against your servant or any of my father’s household, for your servant didn’t have any idea about all this.” He didn’t because David lied to him to keep him innocent and naive. That’s why I think David lied to Ahimelech.