Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love



We continue to look at our “Superheroes” of the Bible as we work our way towards Vacation Bible School. One of the superheroes that you suggested was David. It is difficult to lock David down into one message. So much happened in his life. As I read and prayed one event kept coming to mind so that is where we will concentrate our time this morning.
Very quickly, we will do a condensed version of David’s life. David was the son of Jesse and lived in Bethlehem. He was the youngest son in the family with several older brothers. Samuel came to anoint the new king from one of Jesse’s sons and after reviewing all the older boys, realized that none of them were the one God had chosen as the next king. “Do you have another son” Samuel asked Jesse. “Yea, but that is just little David and he’s out tending the sheep” in a ‘he’s not worth much’ kind of statement. Samuel sent for him and of course this was the one who was to be the King - the one anyone thought the least possible. David was probably 12 years old at this point.
Saul was still the reigning king and David was not to take over as king until Saul’s death. In the meantime David got a job as the court musician and would sit and play his lyre for Saul. Appears that King Saul had these fits of rage and David’s music would calm him down.
It is while David is working in King Saul’s court that David goes home for a visit and finds out his older brothers are in the army and at war with the Philistines. David’s father asked David to go to the battle field and take some food to his brothers and see how they are doing. David does but his brother’s are not to receptive to him. They accuse David of spying on them. Not a real happy family visit. But it is while he is there, that David learns of the threat of Goliath and we all know that David kills the giant and becomes a national hero.
Because of this King Saul makes David the commander of the army and David is a very successful military leader. As a result David is given King Saul’s daughter in marriage and David meets King Saul’s son - Jonathan and they become best friends.
When King Saul sees how popular David has become with the people of the kingdom, he goes into jealous rage and vows to kill David so David is forced to run away.
And this is where today’s story picks up. David is on the run afraid for his life. He first goes to a priest named Ahimelech where he gets some food and also is given the sword of Goliath which had been put in storage. However, one of King Saul’s men happened to be at the tabernacle in Nob and overheard what was going on so David knew that he needed to be on his way and continue running from the King.
He next went to hide in a town called Gath where Achish was the ruler. He was quickly recognized because David had become very famous because of his military victories. So David decides if he acts crazy everyone will be afraid of him and they won’t arrest him. Finally he scared the people of Gath so much with his crazy act, they ran him out of town.
He goes to the town of Adullam where he hid in a cave. Consider what David is thinking about in this cave. He has lost everything. He was famous and well loved and had a high position in the government and that was gone. He lost his work as a military leader. He lost his wife because his wife had been embarrassed when David had won a military battle and had danced in the streets in celebration and she thought this action was beneath a man of his stature. He had to leave his best friend Jonathan because his presence put Jonathan at risk since it was Jonathan’s father who was trying to seek and kill David.
And if we want to know what David thinks, he tells us in the words of Psalm 142. (Read) This just shows us how low David feels. Alone in a dark cave away from everything and everyone he held dear. And he really doesn’t think he has much to look forward to. In this Psalm David is saying, “Woe is me!” But do you really blame him? He didn’t ask for any of this. None of this was because of David’s misdeeds. This is all happening to him and he is understandably distressed by all that he is lost.
But look at Verse 5 - all David has left is God and he acknowledges that. “You are my place of refuge” David declares. When all is gone, there is still God.
Sometimes don’t you feel like your life is like David’s cave. Your life seems cold and dark and you are alone and you don’t see any options or any help. And you cry out to God, “Woe is me”. And there is nothing wrong with that. You shouldn’t feel bad by taking a moment and saying, “How did I get here in my life? My life was good. And here I find myself in a cave with nothing. God what gives?” That is what David did. He just laid it all out there. So don’t feel bad when you just lay it all out there to God.
But then like David, you have to go that extra step and say - “God I’m in this dark cave, I’m mad, I’m frustrated, I’m confused…… but God. I know that you are here. I don’t understand it, but I know you are here.”
Now God works in mysterious ways and the help God sends us often comes in even more mysterious ways. David’s help came from his family. We don’t really know how David’s family knew that David was hiding in this cave, but we read in the story recorded in I Samuel where we are told that David’s family shows up to help him. This is the same family that didn’t think David was worthy to be anointed the next king. This is the same family that accused David of spying on them when David came to the army camp where they were stationed. This is the family who really didn’t think much of this scrawny little pretty boy. And now they are all gathered at the cave to help him.
And who else comes to David’s aid? Those who are in anguish themselves, those who are in trouble because they are in debt and those who have been wronged or mistreated. These people who clearly needed help themselves didn’t come to get help, but to help.
We are the church. We have been called by God to be his. Not only to be loved and cared for by God, not only to worship and work for God’s kingdom, but to be the ‘family’ of God. To be family for one another. To be there for one another and to put our own needs aside when there is another in our midst who need us. We are God’s and our work for God’s kingdom is to show up at the cave when someone in our church family is there - alone and afraid and at need.
There is also another lesson - When you are running for your life and all you have left is a cave to live in and God to cry out to, one of the last things on earth that you want is a bunch of church family members coming to hang around with you. Those people that you have heard groan and complain and cry out to God themselves. But those are God’s people - just like you. They are the family God gave you.
Don’t let yourselves suffer in that cave alone. Let God help you and he will - but he normally helps you not by sending angels but by sending members of his family - your church family.
Together with his family and the troubled, debt ridden, mistreated who showed up to help, David got out of the cave, formed these people into his followers, and they were able to move on. David still continued to run from King Saul who was still on a mission to kill David, but now he had help. He had people with him who were there for him and would continue to be there for him.
David reminds us that we are here as God’s people, that together we can escape the caves of our lives, and keep going - together.