Caves of Hope

“David…escaped to the cave of Adullam” 1 Sam 22:1

Having to stay home for a few weeks isn’t so bad. 3,000 years ago David was involuntarily quarantined in a cave called Adullam. Now, a cave is not very inviting or desirous habitation. The indoor plumbing is horrendous. The beds are rock hard. Even a 2-watt bulb would be cause for celebration. And your wife is definitely not going to like the kitchen. No Netflix.

Still, if you plan to be there for long, you ought to get over to Walmart to pick up a broom and a mop and a few supplies to make your cave a bit homier. Put a few pictures up on the walls (if you can figure out how). You shouldn’t have to walk far to pick a bouquet of wildflowers to cheer up a dark corner here or there. Make the best of it!

Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention. David also made the cave a place of hope. The stronghold he had run to for refuge was soon transformed into a spot where others sought refuge. This place where wandering travelers would duck in to relieve themselves (Saul!) quickly became a haven of relief. From the outside, David appeared as though he was a captive. In truth, he was being promoted to the rank of captain. Though stone pillows must have made sleep a struggle, his dreams carried him to a time when he would do great exploits through His God. The very same address you would never want to visit began taking in visitors— lots of them:

“Everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became their captain.” 1 Samuel 22:2

Before long, David had 400 roommates being trained to become a mighty fighting force. They came into the cave wounded. Healed, they left as warriors. They had encountered a man who had learned to rise above his circumstances, never be subject to them. When they entered the “halls” of this future king’s cliffside palace, they must have thought it cruelly dark and damp. But they soon discovered at least the acoustics were awesome!

How often did songs of praise and exalted worship dance off those walls and burst holes through the craggy ceilings right straight to the Heavens? We can’t say for sure, but at least we know morning after morning David would lead his motley congregation in worship. The title of Psalm 57 says David had penned these words from Adullam:

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.” 

It’s all a matter of perspective. David’s cave was a place of hope because he had made it a hall of worship. Men who were broken and bound found grace holed up in this grotto as they gleaned from this man whose heart was steadfastly fixed upon His Father and Friend. Their lockdown was the door to their future. Having conquered the cave, they emerged ready to stare down bigger enemies brandishing sword and spear.

God can use the cave if we will let Him. To many, the thought of being quarantined is depressing. But when you invite the God of David into your cave, picking up your lute and harp (or put on your iTunes) at the dawning of your day, it matters not what you are like when you come in; you will not be the same when you come out. Brothers and sisters, don’t struggle. Embrace your Adullam. Turn it into a place of worship. Recast it into a sanctuary of hope. As you awaken your song, God will awaken the warrior within. He is raising an army ready to take on darker days ahead.

Our Captain is with us.