“David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.” I Samuel 22:1-2
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I would have been in that cave along with the misfits and misfortunate.
In distress? Yeah, I think I qualify.
In debt? Unfortunately, I am all too familiar with that concept.
Discontented? Well, doesn’t that state of mind seem to naturally follow the other two?
I don’t know of too many people who are distressed and in debt that are content with their lot in life. In fact, just this morning, as I poured my heart out to God, I spoke of wishing to be in another place. Another place financially. Another place of employment for my dear husband. Another neighborhood where drugs and theft are not so common. Another place in my spiritual journey where I succeed more often and fail much less. Another place in my health where I have the strength and energy to fulfill all the daily tasks that require my attention. Discontented? It would seem so.
That being said, I can understand what these four hundred men were going through. Life had handed them lemons by the handfuls, and they weren’t sure what to do or where to turn. Then, they heard about David who was hiding out in a cave, wrestling with some major trials of his own. I guess these men figured that misery really does love company. Either that, or perhaps they just needed to be around someone who understood their heartache. There’s something reassuring about sharing your troubles with someone and knowing that they completely understand where you’re coming from because they’ve walked in those very same shoes.
When faced with the crises of life, these men faced the same question we often face: Where do I go from here? The four hundred ran to their true king. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Psalm 62:5-8 says, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
God is our refuge. He is our hiding place. Whatever troubles we find ourselves in, God has the answer. We can seek His face, pour out our hearts and take comfort in the fact that He can empathize with our situation. Remember, He walked this earth for 33 years. He knows the troubles and heartbreaks that can happen.
Distress? With false accusations, multiple death threats, mockery, hunger, thirst, fatigue and finally crucifixion, He is well-acquainted with distress.
In debt? Well, I’m not sure that He ever owed another man anything, but I do know that He didn’t work a paying job during His three-year ministry preceding His death, so I’m sure there were money problems every now and then.
And how about discontented? He left the splendor of Heaven to abide in the muck and chaos of this world, and while He was always content to do His Father’s will, that didn’t stop Him from asking if there was another way to accomplish it. (Matthew 26:39)
So, you see, not only is God One who knows about your struggles, but He is also One who completely understands. He’s been there. He’s suffered just as you are suffering. He’s known the pain of loneliness and exhaustion. Whatever you may be facing today, your King understands. Go to Him. Hide yourself in the refuge of His arms, and find solace for your hurting heart.
In what ways can you relate to the men in the cave of Adullam?