February 28, 2006
"David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam." (1 Samuel 22:1) and "David and his men were far back in the cave." (1 Samuel 24: 3) There are also many references to Psalm 57 which David wrote while hiding in one of these caves.
"Where can you be safe?" This headline on the front page of today's Detroit News stood out boldly. The story was about a man who went on a shooting rampage at a Detroit area church on Sunday morning. Ironically I had been reading David's words in Psalm 57 about the place that he found "safe" when he had to flee and hide from Saul. Safety. Is there such a thing to be found when the world seems to be spinning out of control? I believe that David found just such a place and it really had nothing to do with the stone walls of the cave in which he was hiding.
In this cave, David found safety "in the shadow of [His] wings" (Psalm 57:1). This image comes from the animal world, comparing God's protective care to that of a bird with its young. We can take refuge in the Lord like chicks taking refuge under their mother hen's wings. There is rest in that shadow according to Psalm 91. The stone walls of the cave hid David from Saul but taking refuge in God's love and faithfulness hid his soul in a quiet and restful place. It kept out panic, confusion and fear. The cave kept the storm outside; trust in God kept the storm from raging in his spirit. Who or what are you hiding from?
David had no one else to turn to for his safety but God. From that cave he cried out for mercy from the One he knew would hear and answer him. He knew that if God didn't intervene and help him, no one could. God will often take us to the end of our ropes where we have done all that we can and our only hope is Him. And actually that's a great place to be because when the answer comes we will unequivocally and with such certainty know that the answer came from God and no one or nothing else. He alone gets the honor and glory for our deliverance. And isn't that what He's been after all along?
The cave was never a passive place to just sit and hide. David was active in the hiding place. He prayed, he praised and he worked his faith. Fervent prayer came from his lips. "Have mercy on me, oh God. Have mercy on me." "I cry out to God Most High." I don't imagine that these words were void of noise and emotion. When we are truly scared, hopeless and being pursued we CRY OUT to God. We pray earnestly from the depths of our beings. But we should also praise. One of my favorite hymns comes from David's words in Psalm 57: "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth." From the dark and cold cave of fear and aloneness David remembered God's greatness. He made sure to focus on the awesomeness of God and not on the size of the enemy that was pursuing him. He also worked his faith by taking a stand. He said that his heart was "steadfast." To be steadfast is to be firm, immovable, fixed in place, not subject to change. He set his face like flint (see Isaiah 50:7) and stood his ground (see Ephesians 6:13). Nothing..no enemy...no fear could move him from his safety net of faith in God. Are you hiding in your cave shaking and quaking from fear or are you praying bold prayers, praising your God and setting your heart steadfast on who you know your Deliverer is?
I've got a couple of enemies pursuing me today. And I'm sure that you do too. If you are growing at all in your walk with God and moving into new levels of service for Him you will face the enemy. New levels....new devils! If you are any threat at all to the kingdom of darkness, you will be pursued. Guaranteed! But those enemies drop powerless behind you when you pray, praise and set your heart steadfastly to trust in God. Run to your cave...your hiding place. Your loving "Abba, Daddy" wants you to crawl into His lap. He wants to place His loving arms around you and keep you safe. There is no safer place than in His arms. Can you believe that the same God that was with David in the cave is in your cave with you right now? And He will stay with you "until the disaster has passed." (Psalm 57:1) David was so sure of his deliverance that he spoke of praising God for his enemy's demise before it even happened. "Call those things that are not as though they are" (Romans 4:17 and Isaiah 42:9).
I'm choosing to spend my days hiding with my God. Armed with the truth that is in my Bible, His word to me. The walls of my cave are made from the knowledge of all the times that He has delivered me in the past and my steadfast resolve to trust Him for my future. No enemy can penetrate those walls. I am safe today. I am in my Daddy's arms and all is well. How about you?