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Bring Me The Ephod

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech,
"Bring me the ephod." Abiathar brought it to him,
and David inquired of the LORD,
"Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?"
"Pursue them," he answered.
"You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue."
1 Sam 30:7-8

This must be one of the deepest and darkest valleys in the life of David.

He was pursued by King Saul. And the safest place to stay away from Saul was to live among the Philistines, the enemies Saul feared. David and his 600 men went to Achish, the king of Gath and asked for his permission to let them settle in Ziklag, one of the Philistine towns (1 Samuel 27).

For sixteen months, David and his men spent their time raiding the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. They took for themselves the sheep, oxen, donkeys, camels and clothing after killing every person in the villages they attacked. "Where did you make your raid today?" Achish would ask. And David would reply, "Against the south of Judah and the people of Jerahmeel and the Kenites." No one was left alive to come to Gath to testify against David. This happened again and again while he was living among the Philistines. Achish believed David and thought that the people of Israel must hate David bitterly by then, and that David would stay there and serve him forever.

About that time the Philistines gathered their armies to wage another war with Israel. Achish asked David and his men to go and help them fight Israel. David agreed. And Achish made David his personal bodyguard (1 Samuel 28).

Before the battle began, the Philistine commanders rejected David and his men. They explained to Achish that David might turn against them and fight for Israel instead. Upon that advice, David was asked to return to Ziklag. They arrived at Ziklag two days later. To their horror, they found out that the Amalekites had attacked and burnt down their town. All their women and children were taken into captivity. The men began to weep bitterly. And they turned their anger against David and contemplated to stone him. But David encouraged himself in the Lord. It was there and then that he requested the priest to bring him the ephod (1 Samuel 29 - 30).

Bringing the ephod is putting on the garment of praise to worship God. It is time to seek God again, face to face. Looking up, and not anywhere else! Through this move of David, everyone and everything lost were recovered and restored. On the top of these, David was made the king of Judah upon the death of King Saul. Seven and a half years later, he became the king in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah.

The ephod is a vest worn by the high priest, reaching to the thighs, when he ministered at the altar (Exodus 28:4-14; 39:2-7). Worn over a blue robe (Exodus 28:31-35), the ephod was made of fine linen interwoven with pure gold, blue, purple and scarlet threads. The ephod was fastened with a beautifully woven girdle (Exodus 28:27-28), and had shoulder straps set in two onyx stones, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes. Over the chest of the high priest was the breastplate, containing twelve stones engraved with the tribal names of Israel. Rings was used to attach the breastplate to the ephod. The Urim and Thummin were also joined to the breastplate.

In the later years of the Levitical priesthood, ephods were worn by associate priests as well as the high priest (1 Sam. 22:18) whenever they ministered before the altar. But their ephods were less elaborate, made of linen. Even the boy Samuel, dedicated to serve in the Shiloh temple, wore a linen ephod (1 Sam. 2:18). David from the tribe of Judah, although not an ordained priest or a Levite, wore a linen ephod when he brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:14; 1 Chr. 15:27).

Christ is our great High Priest (Hebrews 8:1-6). The ephod is symbolic of Him. The white linen speaks of His absolute righteousness. Scarlet (the color of blood) symbolizes His atoning work on the cross; purple, His royalty; gold, His divinity. Blue, the color of the sky, signifies Christ's origin with God the Father in heaven.

When the priests put on their ephods, they were putting on Christ! And Jesus made the Way to the Father possible for all men. We can therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Like Queen Esther, she put on her royal robes and entered the inner court where the king was (Esther 5:1). She turned an approaching disaster of the annihilation of all the Jews into a blessing for all the Jews with their enemies destroyed!

When times get tough and difficult, we need to put on our ephods, enter into the Holy of Holies and worship God, standing still and seeing the salvation of the Lord!

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary