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IN THE DARKNESS OF HIS CAVE, DAVID SOUGHT HIS COVENANT GOD IN PRAYER.

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Sermon shared by C. Bouwman

November 2000
Summary: IN THE DARKNESS OF HIS CAVE, DAVID SOUGHT HIS COVENANT GOD IN PRAYER.
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the emotions of the moment receive more color in vs 2. “I pour out my complaint before Him,” says David. The word translated at “pour out” is the same word as is used to describe the result of a wound from a sword, ie, your blood pours out, gushes out, and there’s no stopping it. That’s David; his complaint, his concern –the turmoil of his heart as he considers the advice of his men- gushes out in a flood of words.
· The intensity of the pressure within David climaxes in the second half of vs 2; “I declare before Him my trouble.” Literally: I cause God to know my trouble, my distress. Here’s labor as David sweats to put God in the picture, struggles to get his thoughts in a row, to get them out.
All of it together, brothers and sisters, gives us a picture of a man under intense pressure. In his specific situation, as he works his way from his men in the back of the cave to Saul in the front, so many thoughts go through his mind, so many conflicting emotions, so much distress. He has to make a decision, and what does he have to do?!
We for our part can relate to the struggles of the man. In all the strive of this mortal life we encounter so many moments too when the pressure gets too much and we want to cry out, we want to scream, we want understanding, we want guidance, an answer. That makes David’s struggle in the cave so important to us; the Holy Spirit has included the psalmist’s struggles in Scripture so that we might be aided in our trials.
So we need to notice, brothers and sisters, what David did with his struggles, with the turbulent emotions. The pressure was on to kill the king, but deep inside David knew this was not the right thing to do. In the struggle of the moment, David did not bang his head against the walls of the cave, nor did he scream into the black. Instead, this child of the Lord took his conflicting emotions to his covenant God, and therein is the example for us to follow. David works with the reality of the covenant; it’s not for nothing that David speaks of God here as “the LORD,” in capital letters. That is Yahweh, the God of the covenant. David knew –as do we- that this God had established with David His covenant of grace - just as He has established it with you and me. David received from God the same promises of salvation in Jesus Christ as you and I have received. In his distress David remembered the covenant promises of this God, and so turned to this God for help. As this God of the covenant does not change, we receive here an encouragement in the midst of our struggles –whatever they may be- to follow the example of brother David so long ago.

We need to go back to David’s prayer. Vss 1 & 2, I’d said, give us the color of David’s cry to the Lord. Vss 3 & 4 deepen the color, for in these verses David lays a finger on the nature of the crisis in which he finds himself.
According to our translation, David says in vs 3 that his “spirit was overwhelmed within” him. Literally, David says that his spirit fainted within him. The point is that David is a wreck, has no strength. He’s on his way to the front of the cave, and the advice of his men to kill the king keeps ringing in his ears. He’s on his way, but the crisis in his soul drains him of strength; his spirit faints within him. In that crisis he lays his finger on the cause of the battle raging within him. He says it at
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