The Cave of Adullam – Part 1

The author and speaker Andy Andrews said, “Remember, young man, experience is not the best teacher. Other people’s experience is the best teacher. By reading about the lives of great people, you can unlock the secrets to what made them great.”

(Proverbs 3:5-7 NLT) Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  (6)  Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.  (7)  Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom…

No matter what situations and circumstances we face in life, our own understanding and our own reasoning becomes secondary to the Word of God. His Word reigns supreme.

This scripture best portrays the Cave of Adullam.

General Overview of the Life of David found in 1 Samuel 16 – 31:

David was chosen by God to replace Saul.

(1 Samuel 16:12-13 NIV)  So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”  (13)  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

David was not just out there with the sheep; he was out there with God.

One thing to note is that after Samuel anointed David to be king, then everyone left and went back to their lives and nothing really seemed to change.

(1 Samuel 16:14-23 NIV) Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.  (15)  Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.  (16)  Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”  (17)  So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”  (18)  One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him.”  (19)  Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”  (20)  So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.  (21)  David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.  (22)  Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”  (23)  Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Note: In verse 15, Saul’s servants noted that an “evil spirit from God” came upon Saul. In the Hebrew, the word for God there should be more accurately translated “other gods” from the Hebrew word “lohiym”.

Saul had been disobedient and rebellious towards God and rejected the Lord and therefore God rejected him. (1 Samuel 15:23)

That is until the people began to sing David’s praises more than Saul’s. Saul then became jealous and sought to have David killed.

Notice where David’s confidence was when he faced Goliath:

(1 Samuel 17:45-46 NIV) David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  (46)  This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

Somewhere in the process of running from Saul, David’s great faith began to turn into fear and he began to run and hide from Saul out of fear.

David makes his first mistake trying to protect himself:

  • He lies to the priest to protect his own life:

(1 Samuel 21:2 NIV)  David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place.

  • He asks for Goliath’s sword to protect himself.

(1 Samuel 21:8-10 NIV)  David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.”  (9)  The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”  (10)  That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath.

When you get out of the will of God and are trying to handle things on your own, you will make some very bad and even dumb decisions and think that you are making really good and smart decisions.

(Proverbs 14:14 NKJV)  The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.

(1 Samuel 21:13-15 NIV) So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.  (14)  Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?  (15)  Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

David’s two sins: at Nob and at Gath opened up the door for two major things to happen: the killing of 85 priests and an invasion by the Philistines. The battle that ensued ended up taking the lives of Saul and David’s best friend Jonathan on Gilboa.

(Psalms 118:9 NIV) It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

Somewhere along this point is where David came to himself and realized what he had done and became repentant.

(1 Samuel 22:1a NIV) David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam…

David found himself in a place where instead of being king as he was anointed to be, he was in a cave.

Because of David’s mistakes, 85 priests in Nob ended up dying because one priest helped him.

For David, it was the worst of times but it became the best of times. The only thing that he had to fall back on was his relationship with the Lord. It was in the cave that he hit rock bottom. He had no money, no food, no friends, no weapons, nothing.

In the cave of Adullam, it was God and David period.

In the cave of Adullam, David did the following:

  • He turned loose of his own strength
  • He turned loose of his own ideas
  • He turned loose of his own wisdom
  • He abandoned himself completely to the will of God

The Cave of Adullam is where David quit and God took over.

The Cave of Adullam is the line where David’s life being David’s responsibility and becoming God’s responsibility. It is where he came to the end of himself.

This is the place in our lives where we quit trying to make God’s plans and promises come to pass and we surrender and let God bring to pass His own plans.

(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

(Philippians 1:6 NIV) …being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

(1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  (7)  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.