Graduating From the Cave of Troubles
As we open to I Samuel 22 today, may I remind you of David's situation? God was training David to be King of His people Israel. David had many lessons to learn in order to accomplish all that the Lord had planned for him to do.
But--David had a problem. God wanted to shape him into a better servant but in the critical moment David waffled, and failed the test. Isn't that a situation we have also experienced?
But the lessons that needed to be learned could only come in the school of affliction. Specifically, God had David enrolled in the cave of troubles. This cave in I Samuel 22 was where David would face his personal problems and people with problems that just wouldn't go away.
Now, where had David just arrived from when he entered the Cave at Adullam? David was fleeing from Saul. Remember that all this trouble in David's life started when God took the kingdom from Saul because he refused to live by the new heart God had given him.
God then gave the kingdom to David because David was "a man after [God's] own heart" (1 Sam. 13:14). David pleased God's heart because God pleased David's heart. "I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart," he sang (Ps. 9:1).
David's deepest desire was, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer" (Ps. 19:14).
David prayed, "Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart" (Ps. 26:2).
And, when God told David, "Seek My face," David's heart replied, "Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek" (Ps. 27:8).
David had failed the test at Gath, he had tried to take care of the situation by himself and without God. David was so discouraged about how he had failed the Lord that he felt abandoned—remember that in Psalm 13.
But now as he walks to the Cave of Adullam he makes a resolve to start over with the Lord, to experience a new beginning.
The cave of troubles was the only place David could learn what God wanted him to know. After David learned how to serve the Lord even while living in a cave of troubles, he recorded his testimony for us in Psalm 57.
It was there that he declared, "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast" (Psalm 57:7). He rededicated his heart, his innermost being, single-mindedly to God. David often failed, but his heart was fixed on God.
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