The Life of David Lesson 9
- Samuel 22:1-4
It is thrilling to hear as we do from time to time, the stories of God’s deliverance from the depths of sin into a glorious salvation (although salvation under any circumstances is thrilling) But what we don’t hear about as often are the stories of God’s deliverance and restoration of believers who have fallen into sin, been convicted by the Holy Spirit and confessed the sin and actually that situation probably happens far more often than the first – and is much more applicable to us. In fact, what happened twice in the life of David, of all people! In chapter 21 he had buckled under the constant pressure of Saul’s constant pressure and, apparently thinking that God either would not or could not take care of him (which happens to many believers, by the way), had taken matters into his own hands. But after a time of repeated frustration and failure, God brought him face to face with his sin in a very humiliating way, and he confessed his sin and got right with his sin in in a very humiliating way, and he confessed his sin and got right with the Lord. And then, interestingly enough, it happened again towards the end of his life, in II Samuel 11 and 12. And even that detail teaches us that this is something that can happen to “young” or “new” believers as well as to older, more mature ones. – and that it can happen again anywhere along the line. Thus we must always be on the alert for this possibility. This is why Galatians 5:16,17 speak of walking in the Spirit. And why I Peter 5:8 says ” be sober, be vigilant. . . ” But this doesn’t mean that we have to go around fearful all the time – this passage teaches us some important lessons about living this way.
The chapter falls into three parts: I. The Depths of David’s Experience – verses 1-4 II. The Depravity of David’s Enemy – verses 5-19, and, III. The Deliverance of David’s Emissary – verses 20 -2-23, David wrote 3 of his Psalms during the experiences described in this chapter 34, 57, and 142. And in Psalm 142:6 he said “attend to my cry, for I am brought very low. “And that is a very good description of this section, So let’s look first at the depths of David’s Experience as we find it described in verses 1 through 5
And the first thing we see is his circumstances in verse 1a
David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam .
Here is the anointed king of Israel, victorious leader of Israel’s armies, living in a cave. And remember that this was after he got right with the Lord. We might have the idea that once he confessed his sins of chapter 21, that everything would be all right.(and it was, spiritually) But even though God always forgives sin when we confess and forsake it, many times we have to “reap what we sowed” when we were out of fellowship. And also we have to remember that whether we are in fellowship or out of fellowship, God doesn’t work on our timetable -David – and Israel – still had much to learn from this difficult situation in his life.
And then, to complicate matters further, verses 1b and 2 tell about his companions
(David, therefore, departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam) And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, and they went down there to him. (2) And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.
On the one hand, it was good that he wasn’t alone, but on the other hand , look who these people were. His friends from the court? No! Some of them were his brothers, who had used him as a servant and ridiculed him in the past. And the people described 2 were not a happy lot, discontented, in debt, in distress – just the kind of people you’d like to be shut up in a cave with!
But his true character is shown in verse 2b – notice the phrase “He became a captain over them. What this means is that he took responsibility for them. And in I Chronicles11 and 12 we find the names an exploit of these men, and we can see that he molded them into a crack regiment – and they were his lifelong, loyal friends. And Psalm 34, written during this time, shows the kinds of things he taught them. Think about David saying these things in the context of taking a bunch of misfits and turning them into useful citizens:
O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. (4) I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. . . . (6) This poor man cried out and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. (7) the angel of the LORD encamps all around all those who fear Him and delivers them. (8) Oh taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD you his saints! There is no want to those who fear him.
Then, to complicate things further, verses 3 and 4 bring out his concern for his parents.
Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab, and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you till I know what God will do for me.”(4) So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
Here is something that often happens: a son who becomes responsible for his parents – and David it willingly. But from a human standpoint, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Now the question that arises here is, “why would David seek protection for his parents from a foreign king? We might think it was because the Moabites were the enemies of Saul, so they would just naturally be the allies of David. But the real reason is something that shows the beautiful texture of scripture – the Moabites were relatives of David’s family. Remember that beautiful story of the book of Ruth? It is about how a widow from the tribe of Judah (David’s tribe) was rescued from the poverty that most widows faced, because she faithfully followed the instructions that God had designed in the Old Testament laws for that very purpose. At any rate what it amounts to is that this widow wound up being David’s “grandmother by marriage!”
Also woven into the story is a little indication of David’s growing maturity. Notice what he says to the king of Moab in verse 3: . . .” ‘til I know what God will do for me.” He has come to the place where he knows that God is going to do something, but he doesn’t know what or when. But he is willing to wait and see; he wasn’t pressing the issue.
Now we have seen David’s circumstances, his companions, his concern for his parents, and his character. But we can’t leave this section of the chapter without commenting on his comparison with the Christ whom he foreshadowed. And the detail is amazing!
First, we see how David was rejected even though he was anointed as king and did great exploits – and so was Christ. Second, Saul, who was God’s intended leader, unmercifully hounded and pursued David, and so did the Pharisees, who occupied the same kind of spiritual position in the time of Christ. Third, David was reduced to living in a cave; Jesus said, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Fourth, David was surrounded by the discontented, the distressed, and the indebted; Jesus was “the friend of sinners.” (Incidentally, this is a pattern that goes beyond the life of Christ into the body of Christ as a whole. – I Corinthians 1:26-29 says that not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are chosen for His work.
As we wrap up this study, there is a real contrast between chapters 21 and 22 of I Samuel. In chapter 21 David tried to rely on his friends, (Jonathon), on the physical details of religion (Ahimilech the priest), and on the power of military might, (Goliath’s sword) – and the Lord showed him that none of these were sufficient for his real needs. But in chapter 22 we see him once again in control of himself and his surroundings, and most importantly, relying on God. What made the difference? Psalm 142 (the third Psalm he wrote during this period of time, explains in verses 3 through 7.
(3) When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then you knew my path, in the way in the way in which I should walk. They have secretly set a snare for me (4) Look on my right hand, and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul (5)I cried out to you, O LORD, I said, “you are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living (6) Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I (7)Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise your name. The righteous shall surround me, For you shall surround me. For you shall deal bountifully me.”
Are you ready to “cry out to God” as David did in these verses? The only way to cope with the issues of life in today’s world is with the strength that comes from walking in fellowship with the Lord.