“David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.”
1 SAMUEL 22:1
Read Psalm 142
A Pastor friend of ours describes a day when he was faced with a group of bullies who pinned him to the wall and taunted him, “Do you want some!? Come on, fight!” He was scared, out-numbered and out-gunned. The bullies were, however, stunned when suddenly he started threatening them! Why, in the face of over-whelming odds against him, was this small boy so confident? Unfortunately for the bullies, it was too late when they realised that his older brothers had appeared behind them and they were now in serious trouble!
David had lost everything - wife, job, best friend and his place at the King’s table. His prophetic dream of the throne in tatters, he was hunted by the King’s forces and hiding in a cave. Then, something unexpected happens; his family arrive and, “all those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered round him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him”. (1 Samuel 22:2) That means David became the commander of those under pressure; unable to repay debts; in ‘bitterness of soul’; wronged or mistreated. Not promising!
Incredibly this group of 400 emerge from the cave and, “David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah”. (1 Samuel 23:5) This group of bitter, depressed and discontented debtors had been transformed into a fearsome fighting force! What changed? Now they were:
1. Devoted to the true king, willing to risk their lives to get him a drink of water (2 Samuel 23:13-17)
2. Devoted to each other; becoming a band of brothers, and
3. Devoted to the king’s cause. In that cave they submitted their agenda to that of seeing David on the throne.
This story powerfully speaks into our situation. Jesus gave up a throne to die and be buried in a cave. When we commit our lives to Jesus, we bring all our bitterness, discontent and debts into that grave to die with our old self. Then we devote our lives to the King, His cause and to one another. As we submit ourselves fully to Jesus our commander, we can leave those things that kept us in a cave and emerge ready for the spiritual battle.
As our Pastor friend learned, it’s all about who’s on your side. Will you devote yourself and inflict heavy losses on the enemy? Here’s how:
· Devote yourself to Jesus as first love in your life
· Devote yourself to playing a pro-active part in His Church
· Devote yourself to the King’s cause of making disciples
A King who gave up everything for you wants your heart and that’s how we fight.
Author: Chris Staples - Elder, Living Hope Church, Isle of Man