The contrast between David and Saul could not be more evident. Saul is a man willing to kill his own son than risk losing his kingship. David takes extraordinary effort to protect his family. Saul is cut off from God. David has his own prophet. Saul feels alone, with everyone against him. David is surrounded by supporters.
David’s prominence is evidenced by his ability to not only get an audience with the king of Moab, but also to have him protect his mother and father. If Saul is not reluctant to kill the priests of Nob, he would not hesitate to kill David’s family.
Four characters traits are seen in chapter 22.
Doeg is willing to paint someone (Ahimelech) in the worst possible light in order to gain an advantage. Ahimelech, though fearful the last time we saw him (chapter 21), shows strength of character in that he challenges the paranoia of Saul. David, though he is not directly responsible for the death of Abiathar’s family, takes the responsibility on himself and doesn’t make excuses or try to shift blame. Additionally, he takes responsibility for others and brings Abiathar under his protection. Of Saul, David Payne writes: “A king must be able to recognize the truth when he hears it. He must act with due restraint and control of his powers. He must promote justice; and if injustice has to be punished, he must not pronounce vindictive and brutal verdicts. Here Saul failed on every count.” These admirable traits of a king, which Saul so profoundly lacks, ought to be traits possessed by every leader.