When last we left David, he was hiding in a cave. Why? King Saul was persecuting him. If we’re going in historical, chronological order, we jump from 1 Samuel, to Psalms and today, to two other books that fill in the story. Two of them are flashbacks or recollections of this time in David’s life. The year is 1011 BC.
Remember, too, that these psalms are David’s poetry, songs and prayers. They tell us what he was feeling and thinking as he was going through everything. It is like reading someone’s memoir or autobiography. Let’s dig in…
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry!
Listen when I cry to you for help!
2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you,
and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
3 Take control of what I say, O Lord,
and guard my lips.
4 Don’t let me drift toward evil
or take part in acts of wickedness.
Don’t let me share in the delicacies
of those who do wrong.
5 Let the godly strike me!
It will be a kindness!
If they correct me, it is soothing medicine.
Don’t let me refuse it.
But I pray constantly
against the wicked and their deeds.
6 When their leaders are thrown down from a cliff,
the wicked will listen to my words and find them true.
7 Like rocks brought up by a plow,
the bones of the wicked will lie scattered without burial.
8 I look to you for help, O Sovereign Lord.Psalm 141 NLT
You are my refuge; don’t let them kill me.
9 Keep me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those who do wrong.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
but let me escape.
Take note of the boldness that David had when praying to God. “Hurry!” He said to Him. David’s in desperation and he feels no shame asking God for help. We shouldn’t either! That’s what it’s like to have a personal relationship with Jesus! He is your friend and we can come to Him with any of our problems 24/7.
Let’s go on…
A psalm of David, regarding his experience in the cave. A prayer.
1 I cry out to the Lord;Psalm 142 NLT
I plead for the Lord’s mercy.
2 I pour out my complaints before him
and tell him all my troubles.
3 When I am overwhelmed,
you alone know the way I should turn.
Wherever I go,
my enemies have set traps for me.
4 I look for someone to come and help me,
but no one gives me a passing thought!
No one will help me;
no one cares a bit what happens to me.
5 Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
You are all I really want in life.
6 Hear my cry,
for I am very low.
Rescue me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Bring me out of prison
so I can thank you.
The godly will crowd around me,
for you are good to me.”
That last line leads right into the next chapter of 1 Samuel…
1 Samuel 22
So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.
3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold.
5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth.
6 The news of his arrival in Judah soon reached Saul. At the time, the king was sitting beneath the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, holding his spear and surrounded by his officers.
7 “Listen here, you men of Benjamin!” Saul shouted to his officers when he heard the news. “Has that son of Jesse promised every one of you fields and vineyards? Has he promised to make you all generals and captains in his army? 8 Is that why you have conspired against me? For not one of you told me when my own son made a solemn pact with the son of Jesse. You’re not even sorry for me. Think of it! My own son—encouraging him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day!”
9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s men, spoke up. “When I was at Nob,” he said, “I saw the son of Jesse talking to the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub. 10 Ahimelech consulted the Lord for him. Then he gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
The Slaughter of the Priests
11 King Saul immediately sent for Ahimelech and all his family, who served as priests at Nob. 12 When they arrived, Saul shouted at him, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub!”
“What is it, my king?” Ahimelech asked.
13 “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?” Saul demanded. “Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?”
14 “But sir,” Ahimelech replied, “is anyone among all your servants as faithful as David, your son-in-law? Why, he is the captain of your bodyguard and a highly honored member of your household! 15 This was certainly not the first time I had consulted God for him! May the king not accuse me and my family in this matter, for I knew nothing at all of any plot against you.”
16 “You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted. 17 And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the Lord, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the Lord’s priests.
18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You do it.” So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. 19 Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats.
20 Only Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David. 21 When he told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord, 22 David exclaimed, “I knew it! When I saw Doeg the Edomite there that day, I knew he was sure to tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all your father’s family. 23 Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life, for the same person wants to kill us both.”1 Samuel 22 NLT
Saul was so blinded by his hatred for David that he justified, in his own deranged mind, the killing of innocent people without due justice.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”
1 Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
2 All day long you plot destruction.
Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
you’re an expert at telling lies.
3 You love evil more than good
and lies more than truth. Interlude (Selah)
4 You love to destroy others with your words,
5 But God will strike you down once and for all.
He will pull you from your home
and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude (Selah)
6 The righteous will see it and be amazed.
They will laugh and say,
7 “Look what happens to mighty warriors
who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”
8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.Psalm 52 NLT
I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
9 I will praise you forever, O God,
for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
in the presence of your faithful people.
Do you trust God in everything? Who DO you trust? Do you trust your wealth or people, governments or churches? Think about how temporary those things are compared to how eternal God is.
Next we hop on over to 1 Chronicles…
1 Chronicles 12:8-18
8 Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.
9 Ezer was their leader.
Obadiah was second.
Eliab was third.
10 Mishmannah was fourth.
Jeremiah was fifth.
11 Attai was sixth.
Eliel was seventh.
12 Johanan was eighth.
Elzabad was ninth.
13 Jeremiah was tenth.
Macbannai was eleventh.
14 These warriors from Gad were army commanders. The weakest among them could take on a hundred regular troops, and the strongest could take on a thousand! 15 These were the men who crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding at the beginning of the year and drove out all the people living in the lowlands on both the east and west banks.
16 Others from Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. 17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.”
18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said,
“We are yours, David!
We are on your side, son of Jesse.
Peace and prosperity be with you,
and success to all who help you,
for your God is the one who helps you.”
So David let them join him, and he made them officers over his troops.1 Chronicles 12:8-18 NLT
Here’s another remembrance…
2 Samuel 23:13-17
13 Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.
15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.2 Samuel 23:13-17 NLT
David’s Story Reflects Jesus…
- Anointed king
- Has a motley crew of sinners
- An evil usurper, Saul is ruling
- Was innocent and persecuted
- Was betrayed by Doeg
- He eventually does take the throne
Right now, if you’re not part of King Jesus’ motley crew of sinners–forgiven, born-again followers, you belong to Satan. Yes, friend, that’s the choice Heaven with Jesus or hell — the furthest away from God that anyone can possibly be.
Don’t you want to be Jesus’ friend? Do you want to be able to talk to God like David did? You can! Simply…