Green Olive Trees

from Lynda Lindsey

And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David…” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord… And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. I Samuel 22:17-18

David to Abiathar: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. I Samuel 22:22(b)

“See the man who would not make God his refuge but trusted the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:7-8

David, fleeing Saul’s murderous attempts, sought help from Ahimelech, the priest at Nob. David deceived Ahimelech, allowing him to believe that he was on official kingdom business, which indirectly led to the death of Ahimelech, eighty-five other priests, and the total destruction of their families and city. David, grieved that his behavior had influenced Doeg the Edomite to cooperate with Saul’s order to massacre God’s priests, confessed his sin and promised to keep Abiathar, the sole surviving priest, safe. Deceit, subterfuge, misrepresentation, all have grievous consequences.

Saul first ordered his servants to kill the priests. When they refused, the Edomite, a foreigner who had already betrayed David to Saul, was more than willing to carry out the mass execution. David was incensed and outraged that Doeg would boast about committing such evil. Through it all, David stands confident that Doeg, at God’s hand, will be uprooted and destroyed and that he, David, will be rewarded and flourish as a fruitful olive tree. God, honoring David’s trust, kept David safe while Saul daily sought to find and kill David. 

Believers are like vital, fruitful olive trees that thrive and flourish under God’s steadfast lovingkindness and provision. God, the source of all good things, grants us salvation, forgiveness, and refuge. God is our only hope, our only boast. God protects and delivers us from our enemies and troubles. He’s our helper, the One who upholds our life and lifts up our head, the One to whom we offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Stand confident. Trust in God’s steadfast love forever, for God vindicates His own. Seek good, not evil, all your days. The reward? Life, now, and for all eternity!