David's life was truly dramatic. After fighting against the giant Goliath, David received many people 's attention and love. Everything he did went smoothly. He became the king's son-in-law. David gained honor and power in a short period of time. But after this, his life seems to be tangled. King Saul misunderstood him and he was trying to kill David. In order to live, he lied, broke the Law of Moses, and acted like a mad man. These showed all that David was trying to live in his wisdom. Then he fled to the cave of Adullam, where showed that David's life seemed to be the end. There was nothing he could do at Adullam Cave. This was the moment when all people might said that it would be the end. But when we read the text today, we see that a new thing begun in David’s life. Likely, we also hope that when we are in the cave of Adullam, we will experience new things like David.
The first change that happened to David was that his family visited him. David was originally a neglected family member. But now they need the protection of David. King Saul could also kill David's family. David would have been comforted through the family who came to the cave of Adullam. Later, David asked his family to the king of Moab. Although he was in difficulty, David now took care of his family.
The second change to David is that there were people who believed and followed him. 400 people came to David. But those who have come to David are said to be 'all those who were in distress or in debt or discontented’. Maybe it seemed like that all people gathered around him were weak, but not strong. But this was true for David. He had no future guaranteed because David was pursued by King Saul. David had nothing. Nevertheless, they were the ones who came to David. They didn’t David’s social nor economic background. Instead they looked at David himself. These people would be great to David. David also accepted these people without rejecting them. Later on, these people became great soldiers as David believed. If David had not escaped to the cave of Adullam, he would never meet them. It is grateful to meet faithful co-workers for life.
How do these things happen to David? We want to find out some reason in Psalm 57. Psalm 57 is also my favorite praise.
I will give thanks to Thee. O- Lord among the people. I will sing praises to Thee among the nations. For thy steadfast love is great. It is great to the heavens and thy faithfulness, they faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted-, O-God, above the heavens, Let thy glory be over all the earth. Be exalted -. Glory be over all the earth"
The title of Psalm 57 is that "want to be helped in the midst of trouble". This poem was written by David when he was in trouble, but not in peace, in his life. Nevertheless, poetry is full of praise for God all over.
Psalm 57 is more amazing if you know what David is in.
'I am in the midst of lions; I lie among ravenous beasts—men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. '
We can see how dangerous David was: He said that he was in the midst of lions. Nevertheless, most of his praise was filled with praising God.
"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” (Psalm 57: 10-11)
The more you understand the situation in which David was, the more likely he might not praise the Lord. It was not a comfortable and nice bed, but he lied on the ground at the cave of Adullam. King Saul tries to kill him, and no one seemed to help him. David had to lie to live, to break the law, to act like a madman. David's grave would be at the cave of Adullam.
How did we react to what happened to David if it happened to us? Perhaps we may be deeply in despair of life. This is what we are. Sometimes it seems like no way would be. The people of Israel were weary of the wilderness and blamed God. Nevertheless, David did not do as the Israelites did. Instead, he praised God in fearful reality. Could we do that, too?
David's attitude change is not determined by his wisdom and his method but by his determination to live in God. This was a message of Psalm 57. He was not hanging on what he could not solve; he has become a man who could wait for what God would do for himself.
For David, the cave of Adullam was not a ruined place, but a place that he was refreshed and he relies on God and decides to praise God. We need a resolution like David. Everything seems to be ruined, and in a reality of despair only, we can decide to depend more on God with the belief that God has a plan for us although we do not know what it is.
To understand the change of David, it is important to know the place of the cave of Adullam.
Adullam Cave is in a wilderness. This means that David was in the wilderness. The wildness means that land is nothing to be usefulness. But to David the wilderness became a place where new things begun in his life. His soul has been refreshed and has become a place where he could see God alone. I hope that we will receive the same message that God gave to David in the wilderness.
The wilderness plays a very important role in the Bible.
Moses lived in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses also fled to the wilderness to live. There was something Moses learned from the wilderness where he fled to save his life. He learned that 'I am nothing' from the idea of 'I am an important person'. He was confident that he could do everything, but he learned that he could not do anything. Moses was also a wilderness where he began new things at the age of eighty. Moses became the most merciful man in the world after 40 years of wilderness.
The Israelites also lived in the wilderness for 40 years. Because they did not trust in God, they had to live in the wilderness. Nevertheless, they learned how to worship God and that it is God's grace to live each day. The wilderness is a place of death if God does not feed. It is the wilderness where we can’t live without God’s protection. This is the greatest fruit of the wilderness.
Jesus also fasted forty days in the wilderness as he began ministry. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. And Jesus showed us to be our Savior through 40 days in the wilderness.
There would be something David learned in the wilderness.
The cave of Adullam was not a real refuge, but God was his real refuge. In the wilderness, David became a man who could seek God's will. In the wilderness life, David became a grateful man. And also, David learned not to grumble and complain through his wilderness life, but to learn to look upon God.
Though our life is like a wilderness, it is clear that God wants us to learn how to trust God. We also learn to worship God. And it is a wilderness that learns that God is a refuge of those who wait for God's will.
And the wilderness life makes us more focused on God. The wilderness is so simple that you do not have to do anything. So the wilderness is where God has given us permission to listen to God's voice. It is a wilderness where our minds are not misled by colorful lights. It is a wilderness that does not lose heart to world power and honor. So David's heart was so filled with praise for God instead of fear.
The wilderness lets us see our true image. This is what God has shown to me. So, we can confess that everything is God's grace and mercy. And what God, who calls into the wilderness, wants me and you, that is a deep fellowship with God and you.
The reason we leave our everyday life and go to the sea or mountains is for refreshment of our soul and to see our inner appearance. But if we go one step further and we can see that God is the real refuge of our lives. It is the wilderness that learns that the labor of the watchmen is vanity if God does not protect them.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens
In the wilderness, David’s hand would be lifted to praise the Lord. Can we do this like David did? Where we have escaped, where we think we can avoid the danger, we want to be able to confess that God is our true refuge.
I also hope that the grace of the Lord who came to David will come to us equally. At the moment when we think that we are ruined, I hope that there will be a signal to us that there is a new beginning.
Being able to praise God in danger, however, means that we have increased our trust in God. And we want to be able to learn that it is important to praise God no matter what our situation is. And the Lord sent David's helpers. They were frail, but David had been trained to understand the weaker. Just as the cave of Adullam became a new beginning for David, I pray that your wilderness life will be a time to prepare for a new beginning in your life.