Responding to Life's Caves | 1 Samuel 22:1-10

1 Samuel 22:1-10 (NLT) - So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. 3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold. 5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth. 6 The news of his arrival in Judah soon reached Saul. At the time, the king was sitting beneath the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, holding his spear and surrounded by his officers. 7 “Listen here, you men of Benjamin!” Saul shouted to his officers when he heard the news. “Has that son of Jesse promised every one of you fields and vineyards? Has he promised to make you all generals and captains in his army? 8 Is that why you have conspired against me? For not one of you told me when my own son made a solemn pact with the son of Jesse. You’re not even sorry for me. Think of it! My own son—encouraging him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day!” 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s men, spoke up. “When I was at Nob,” he said, “I saw the son of Jesse talking to the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub. 10 Ahimelech consulted the Lord for him. Then he gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”

I. David in the cave of Adullam

A. Adullam means: “sealed off place”.

20 miles southwest of Jerusalem and 10 miles from Gath.
These caves have been used all the way to the time of Roman occupation.

B. David and the Island of misfit toys

He makes a deal with the King of Moab for his parents to stay out of the reach of Saul.
His family and friends come to him but also a bunch of misfits and malcontents.

Today we get to enjoy a deeper sense of what David was going though. We would not know much of this time if we only had 1 Sam 22 because David soon gets sent to Hereth forest by the prophet Gad. God gave us more insight into this time in David’s life by inspiring David to journal. To write Psalm 142.

II. David’s prayer in the cave

Psalm 142:1-7 - I cry out to the Lord; I plead for the Lord’s mercy. 2 I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. 3 When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. 4 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. 5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. 6 Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. 7 Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you are good to me.”

We have a great role model in David. The man after God’s own heart shows us the way to react when overwhelmed with unfair treatment and difficult circumstances. What did he do?

1. He prayed

  • This is the most obvious response if you are not the person in trouble.
  • When its you though its different. Few of us would argue that prayer is not a proper response but we often don’t perceive prayer as the most practical response.
  • We think God can save me from my sins but not my circumstances.

2. He cried Aloud

Psalm 142:1 (NIV) - I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
  • Can you imagine David sobbing in the cave. His world turned upside down. It was all unfair, the injustice of it all.
  • There is nothing better for the soul then a good cry. David was a giant slayer but was unafraid to cry out to God. We are sometimes embarrassed.
Psalm 56:8 - You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.    You have recorded each one in your book.
  • Tears are prayers too. They travel to God when we can’t speak.
  • Some theologians believe and teach the crying out, not in your heart, but with your mouth is a step of faith that is missed by the Christian masses. It's that step that moves God on our behalf.
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, And looks to God alone; Laughs at impossibilities, And cries it shall be done. -Charles Wesley

3. He poured out his complaints to God

Psalm 142:2 - I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
  • God has an endless supply of grace. He can take all your complaints.
  • God is in control of all things. When we meter what is hurting us, bugging us, and against us, we are saying I got this part just handle the ones I can’t. This is setting yourself up next to God. Let him have it all he can take it.
  • David viewed his heart as a pitcher and poured everything in it on his God. Joy or sadness bitterness or fear.
  • He encouraged everyone to do the same.
Psalm 62:8 - O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

4. He remembered that God knows his way

Psalm 142:3 - When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
  • His prayer reminded him that God knows his way. 
  • Prayer is for our sake as much as it is for God’s pleasure. As we pray we remind ourselves of the mighty gracious God we serve and that he is in control.

5. He longed for God’s realness

Psalm 142:4 - I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. 5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
  • We often equate safety with people, not places. David was in a cave that is described as a fortress and he felt like he had no refuge because no one was there who personally cared for him.
  • The truth is that David had a lot of people who cared for him but when we get under it we feel alone.
  • He needed God to be a real presence.
  • God created your feelings. He understands them better than anyone else on the planet. Tell him your feelings. He will handle the truth.

6. David confessed his Need

Psalm 142:6 - Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
  • A wise man knows when those who stand against him are mightier than he.
  • David fought the lion the bear and then Goliath all on his own and conquered. Now he is fighting something unseen. Schemes and plots he didn’t know who his friend or enemies were.
Ephesians6:10 - A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
  • Without the intervention of God and his holy armor, we will be overpowered by an enemy like this.

Summary

You and I are never alone. God wants to use you even in your cave. Step out in faith and cry out. God wants to honor you. You want him to be real in your life? It is time to be real to Him.