Cave Adullam – David is at his lowest place in life to this point. Remember when you were at that place. It seemed there was no hope anything would change anytime soon? Where did you run? The bottle? The pills? The snort? The joint? A woman? A man? Porn? Did you go crazy for a while? Were you sort of a basket case – quivering, rolling, drooling? One day you woke up in a dead sea cave asking, “What do I do now?” That’s Cave Adullam.
DAVID THE KING
By Delbert Young
The Cave Adullam
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 21:12-13, 1 Samuel 22:1, Psalm 57:1-11, 1 Samuel 22:1-2, 1 Samuel 22:2, (MSG) 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, 1 Chronicles 12:22
1 Samuel 21:12-13 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.
Our last lesson left David rolling in the dirt with spit running down his beard, scratching on a door, and acting insane. We begin there today. Again, imagine the picture. David quivers as an epileptic, rolls in the dirt, tongue hanging out, glaring eyes, grunts, spits, and foams. What is David doing? It’s a picture of how low David had gotten. David was at Gath, the home of Goliath who David killed not long before! David, running from Saul, thought Gath would be a place Saul would not dog him, but the Gathites know whom David is and are talking about killing him. Going to Gath was not a good decision.
God removed every crutch David leaned on. David once had a good position, but lost it. David once had a wife who loved him, but lost her. David had a Samuel – spiritual mentor, but lost him. David had a great friend Jonathan, but lost him. David had self-respect. Yet, he was pretending to be insane. God deals with our crutches and when we get to the end of our ropes, we make horrible decisions that could be deadly like David’s decision to go to Gath.
How many have ever made bad decisions when everything was going wrong for you and you were stressed? It’s a part of the process of God’s “crutch removing.” Try not to make serious decisions in stressful times. We will hurt others, hurt ourselves, and do some crazy things. It taking us to Cave Adullam.
First, David is in the enemy’s land. It’s a land of tall men, taller walls, piercing glares, piercing words, piercing spears. We’ve all been in places we didn’t want to be and around people we didn’t want to be, but what’s up with David’s pretending to be insane? The Philistines believed Dagon’s devil possessed a person acting like David. Dagon’s devil made men impotent, women barren, and children die. They also believed every drop of blood from a person with this spirit created another Dagon devil. So, for goodness sake, don’t spill a drop of David’s blood. Instead of killing David, the Philistines ran David out of town. It’s all taking David to Cave Adullam.
David is alone, afraid, in trouble, and very confused. Been there? In the past, when David was afraid, he talked and listened to God to find courage. When David was confused, he talked to God to find clarity. When David was in trouble, he talked to God. Not once here, are we told, David talked to God. He never cried out to God. David took matters into his own hands and ended up nearly destroyed, but he’s heading for Cave Adullam.
Life goes crazy sometimes and in our confusion and fear, we grasp at everything – everything that is but God. There are times in life when your spouse can’t help, your prophecies can’t help, your friends can’t help, and your self respect can’t help. We have to realize God is doing something in our lives! It’s time for Cave Adullam.
1 Samuel 22:1 David left Gath and ESCAPED TO THE CAVE OF ADULLAM…
Adullam… Adullam is a cave in the wilderness and this wilderness is where nothing survives. The cave overlooks the Dead Sea where the air is saturated with oxides. It’s the DEAD Sea. It breathes death.
David is at the lowest point in his life, to date anyway. No crutches left. Alone in a dark cave. Sleeping on dirt. No food. No one to talk with and no hope anything would change. David had nothing. It’s Cave Adullam.
Can you relate to David’s situation? Remember when all you could see was trouble? Remember when you were afraid, lonely, and no hope that it would change? Where did you run? Maybe his or her arms? Maybe the bar? The bottle? The pills? The snort? The joint or rock? The porn? Did you go crazy for a while as if some demon possessed you? Were you sort of a basket case – quivering, rolling, drooling? Remember when you were at the lowest point in your life? One day you woke up in a “dead sea cave” asking, “What do I do now?”
None of us plan on going where David went, but all of us find the Cave Adullam at some point in life – at least once. We were so consumed by our trouble, fear, loneliness, and confusion we didn’t think about talking to or listening to God. What did he care anyway, right? If he cared, I wouldn’t be in this cave. Did God care about David? We know God cared. But, at the moment David didn’t know God cared.
Actually God was waiting for you to get there. Everyone says, “All you need is Jesus.” Sadly, you never know Jesus truly is all you need until Jesus is all you have. That’s Cave Adullam. In Cave Adullam, we do what David did – return our focus to God.
In the description prior to Psalm 57, it will say something like this: “For the director of music. To the tune of ‘Do Not Destory’ Of David. A miktam. When he had fled Saul into the cave.” The Psalm says this:
Psalm 57:1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah God sends his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts – men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet – I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path – but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
As I read Psalm 57’s eleven verses, I actually feel and experience David’s heart lift in every verse. I gave you a picture of David rolling in the dirt foaming salvia onto his beard in his down moment. Let me give you this picture of David praying and singing Psalm 57. Imagine as David lay in the dirt of Cave Adullam on his face with no one and no place left to go. From the place deep inside David comes “the thought,” and we’ve all done this. From the place inside without warning… the thought. What thought, Delbert? The GOD thought. The thought… “I’ll pray.” David’s soul took him to God. I don’t care who you are, how lost or saved, when it is bad enough, when it’s Cave Adullam, you will have “the thought.” That’s how God wired us. How many have seen someone truly come to Jesus through bad and bottom times?
David began to weep saying, Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me. He continues. …for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS until the disaster has passed.
David’s spirit reminds him of God’s purpose for him. David’s purpose was not that nasty cave. Though there were human beasts after David, David knew the disaster would pass because he had a God purpose.
Perhaps, as David said this, he rose to his knees and lifted his hands, lifted his face, and then lifted his eyes. He begins to sing. I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre!
Singing and music awake the soul. As David’s voice lifts and becomes louder, he declares, I WILL AWAKEN THE DAWN. I WILL PRAISE YOU, O LORD, AMONG THE NATIONS; I WILL SING OF YOU AMONG THE PEOPLES. David realized the night was over. David said he would awaken the dawn. What? See, God allows us to awaken the dawn in our lives. What an amazing thought. We can be in darkness, dawn, or light. We decide which we awake.
I see David standing to his feet, hands stretched upward, saying, Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. You know what? When your soul gets to this place, it doesn’t seem to matter what’s going crazy in life. You just know God will take care of it. That’s what Cave Adullam will do for us.
David had come to his end, but when God brings us to our end its not to end our lives. It’s a new dawn. It’s to reroute our lives. It’s to refocus our lives back to God. When David refocused on God, things turned for good for David. It’s Cave Adullam.
Things will turn around when we take refuge in THE SHADOW OF GOD’S WINGS. This is a metaphor taken from a brood of chicks with the mother hen. When birds of prey threaten, or storms come, or enemies of any kind terrorize, the little ones come under the wings until the enemy disappears. David said that was where he was now.
As we genuinely crawl into the SHADOW OF GOD’S WINGS and wrap ourselves up in God during our stormy, threatening, and bad times, realize good times are just ahead.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 …When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, THEY WENT DOWN TO HIM THERE. 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.
Quickly, David went from loneliness to a community of four hundred. Family and friends began filling his life. Somehow, people heard where David was and many went to find David. David didn’t ask them to come. God sent them. God is rerouting David’s life and the lives of others through David. Four hundred people now looked to David as their leader. David went from having no one, to leading four hundred nearly overnight. David had a position again. Soon, God will, as Brooks and Dunn says, “Put a Girl in it.” David will marry Abigail and have a wife. Soon, David will see his covenant friend, Jonathan, again. The point is God is refocusing, rebuilding, and rerouting David. To do it, it required David crawling into THE CAVE.
God was going to do something new with David. God was doing something with David never done before. What was that? God was training a king, so David was doing what no one had done before. That’s the unique kind of person David was. David lived outside the box. He loved to be different. He loved to be fresh. He loved to be new. David was a Maverick because that’s the kind of person God wanted and the people needed. When you think about it, David was sort of like Jesus! Or, was Jesus like David?
1 Samuel 22:2 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.
Thinking about David’s four hundred. They were not the brightest and the best, but neither were they the brightest and the best who came to Jesus. They were not all highly educated, nor wealthy, and none were happy. Those who came to David and those who come to Jesus were/are people like you and me.
(MSG) 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God DELIBERATELY CHOSE MEN AND WOMEN that the culture overlooks…
Real churches are populated with former cave dwellers. They may have lost their positions, lost their spouses, lost their friends, and acted goofy while at Gath. However, it’s those who were in distress, in debt, and discontented who become the army of God.
1 Chronicles 12:22 Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God.
So, David formed and led ‘The Church of Adullam.’ David took the cave experience and trained for the future. That is what a cave experience should be for us – training for the future.
What have we learned today? What is God doing when you are at the bottom and acting crazy? What is God doing when you awake in a Dead Sea cave? If you will allow the thought from your soul to let you crawl back into God as you crawled into that cave, GOD WILL REFOCUS, REBUILD, AND REROUTE YOU. He will immediately begin replacing all you lost. He will put you into a congregation of people. He will do something new and special with you.
Some of us are living in an emotional cave. It’s dark. It’s dismal. It’s lonely. If you are not there, you have been, or will be there. It’s a part of living and a part of God’s molding. The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, but the making of a Believer/Disciple is the task of a lifetime. The cave is part of making a person reroute, refocus, and rebuild.
Crawl into God as you crawled into that cave. Find refuge in God’s EVERLASTING ARMS. Find comfort in people like you who are only the “grace of God” away from bankruptcy, nervous breakdown, addiction, divorce, and bitterness. If you will, God will reroute you, refocus you, and rebuild you so you can come into your kingdom.
Other Related Sermons:
Max Lucado, Facing Your Giants, p 37, 38