Summary: prayer - Psalms 142 -

“Cave Buster” Psalms 142

I started this with a really interesting “opener” but the further that I dug into the scripture the more I realized that the opener would not do this scripture justice. At the risk of disappointing my son who really liked the opening illustration… I instead want us to dive right into these words. I want to paint a mental picture of both the realities of this scripture and of the reality of hope they provide.

(Read Psalms 142) In Psalms 142 David is alone and in great trouble.

It will be helpful for us to understand the situation that he is in if we are to know how this applies to us.

David is running, he is running from a very serious problem. After killing Goliath he had entered into military service for Saul. But with all his natural ability and success plus God’s hand upon him Saul had become extremely jealous and now Saul sought to kill David. So David ran.

I really like the “title” that is given to this psalm – “when he was in the cave.” It is one of the few psalms that give you a picture of where David physically is as this is written. We are privy to a most intimate prayer. David fled, he ran from Saul and he was fleeing for his life. He had nothing - no provisions, he had no followers and he had nowhere to turn. He is in a desperate situation, isolated and lonely.

In the height of his fear he ran into the depths of this cave. The cave for David was both real and spiritual. And it was there in the damp cold darkness that the fear gripped at his heart and overwhelmed his soul. It is here, in that moment that David did the only thing he could do… the only thing that would not only sustain him but that would break through the walls that surrounded him and set him free from this prison.

HE PRAYED- He poured out his heart and his distress to God. There was no pretense, there were no fancy words.

There was no hidden agenda – just a pure and simple cry for help from a scared, tired and lonely man.

I truly believe that today many of us can relate to where David is. Oh, not many of us actually hide in real caves today… but we do separate ourselves, mentally, spiritually, sometimes physically.

Sometimes we do feel as though we are all alone in the cold dark moments of our lives. As though there was no one around, no one at our right hand to call friend and that every step we take it seems like someone has laid a trap to trip us up. We can relate to where David is can’t we?

Alone, no one seems to care… cold and dark…no one to call a friend; it is as if it is us against the world. It is in that very moment that you feel discouragement and despair. This feeling of being utterly alone and helpless comes to us in a few ways…there is

The CRUSHED- Those whose world is pressing in, on and around you. David would say in verse 3, “my spirit is overwhelmed within me…”

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

It could be that you are a new Christian or maybe one who has suddenly been renewed… and you find that those around you have actually become your persecutors. They find your tender spots and they pick and poke away at them. It can become overwhelming, so much so that your heart feels alone and friendless. Like David you feel that those against you are stronger and more powerful… that the only thing you can do is to - run and hide in a cave…

Or maybe you are The CONVICTED- It is a paradox that the more you run away from God the more HE chases after you. Too often when God’s Spirit is convicting your heart of sin - the choice you make is to run deeper into the darkness. You don’t want to be exposed… so instead you run and isolate your heart and separate your soul from the very One who can actually set you free.

When you have put yourself in the prison of sin – it is only the prayer of repentance that will release you from the prison you have created.


Have you ever noticed that when God is about to use you in a great way that He makes you hungry before He feeds you, He makes you nothing before He makes you something. That was David’s case. David was being shaped, prepared for a greater future. No he didn’t know it at the time, how could he.

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