Caveman David

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Monday, January 22, 2007
1 Samuel 22:1-2 (1) 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. (2) 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. In the closing verses of the previous chapter David had "...feigned himself mad..." (1SAM 21:13) before Achish, king of Gath in a clever (and successful) charade to disgust Achish and throw him off the scent (so to speak). David thus had a slightly different take on something Jesus once said to his disciples, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents..." (MAT 10:16), and found it more appropriate to be wise as sea cucumbers, which creatures breathe through their anus and vomit out their internal organs to distract predators and probably obscure their scent as they escape. Even disgusting things can be useful when "...wisdom is profitable to direct..." (ECC 10:10), and this is a comfort. David had feigned madness but the truth is that disciples need not resort to theatrics to appear mad to the world. They need only abandon their formal carnal ways to make men think them strange (1PE 4:3-4), or be diligent in the study and application of the Holy Scriptures to prompt the ignorant to conclude, "...thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad" (ACT 26:24). In today's text we see David escaping to a cave, shut up and buried to the world and especially from the eyes of Saul. Hiding is a biblical practice. "When the wicked rise, men hide themselves..." (PRO 28:28), and so God told Elijah, "...hide thyself by the brook Cherith..." (1KI 17:3), and so the angel told Joseph, "...take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt" (MAT 2:13). Now for David the cave was but an instrument; it was God in whom he hid: "Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble..." (PSA 32:7), "...hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me..." (PSA 17:8-9), "For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me..." (PSA 27:5). And so the anointed king of Israel finds himself among heroes of faith "...in dens and caves of the earth" (HEB 11:38), hiding to save his skin. An anorexic chanteuse once crooned, "...the best love songs are written with a broken heart," and it may be observed that some of the richest praises and psalms of comfort were generated by desperate trials and persecutions. Psalm 142 is titled a "Maschil of David; a Prayer when he was in the cave." Maschil means given to instruct, instructive and it is instructive to know that when David was in fear for his life, this psalm shows him to be yet trusting in God and praising Him, "...Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living" (PSA 142:4), "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name..." (PSA 142:7). In the bowels of a prison, "...at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God..." (ACT 16:25). We note that PSA 142:7 concluded with "...the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me." Our text today implies the manner in which God answered David: "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" (v.2). The band of the righteous consists of "...not many noble..." (1CO 1:26), for "...Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him" (JAM 2:5)? The Son of David is a fitting Captain to such as this world has abused, and we may count ourselves happy if we have become "...companions of them that were so used" (HEB 10:33).

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