“David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam….” (1 Samuel 22:1)
The bottom had just fallen out of David’s life. Within a span of a few very painful months, David lost everything: his position, his wife, his mentor, his best friend, and ultimately his self-respect. He went from living in a palace to hiding in a cave.
But then, God did something amazing. “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.” (1 Samuel 22:2)
Look again at who God brought to David:
- Those in Distress = people under pressure, stress, or anxiety with nowhere to turn;
- Those in Debt = people with many creditors and bills they couldn’t pay; and
- Those Discontented = people who had been wronged, lost faith, had been mistreated, and had become bitter.
Doesn’t that sound like a spot-on description of the church? Every single one of us has issues. We’re all dealing with something, fighting something…running from something. We’re a perfect fit for each other, aren’t we? God brought us together…in a cave! But eventually, this motley crew in David’s cave would be called David’s “mighty men of valor.”
If you did your homework and read Psalm 34 this week, you know David wrote that song in the cave of Adullam. He encourages his fellow cave-dwellers: “Proclaim the Lord’s greatness with me; let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:3). The he continues:
- To the distressed in the group he sings “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
- To the debtors in the group he sings “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)
- To the discontent in the group he sings “Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the person who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
Finally, he reminds them all that they were in the cave together. They all had problems, but God had a plan for each of them: “One who is righteous has many adversities, but the Lord rescues him from them all.” (Psalm 34:19, CSB)
If you’re distressed, in debt, or discontent, God hasn’t forgotten you. He’s got a plan!
Join us this week for my sermon, “Finding God in a Cave.”