Summary: Learn from King David how to overcome your dark days of doubt.



Message #5

Cave Training

1 Sam 22:1 & Psalm 142


In her book, THE HIDING PLACE, Corrie Ten Boom relates an incident that taught her to be thankful for things we normally would not be thankful for. She and her sister, Betsy, prisoners of the Nazis, had just been transferred to the worst prison camp they had seen yet, Ravensbruck. Upon entering the barracks, they found them extremely overcrowded and infested with fleas. Their Scripture reading from their smuggled Bible that morning in 1 Thessalonians had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsy told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsy persisted. Corrie finally agreed to somehow thank God for even the fleas.

During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings in their barrack without guard interference. Several months later they learned that the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.

Have you ever been in a cave? When I was in college at Kentucky Christian College, students would often go "caving" at Carter County State Park. The cave was a wonderful place to just get away and hide. Suzy and I once toured Mammoth Caves in SW Kentucky. When we deep into the cave, the tour guide shut all the lights off and let us experience absolute darkness. That was wild.

Sometimes life can be like getting lost in a cave. Problems and hardships begin to overtake us like the cold, damp, darkness of a cave.

We are in a series of messages here at NCC on the life of David of the OT. When we left David last week he was running for his life with the murderous King Saul and his army in pursuit.

1 Samuel 22:1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam.

It’s a long way from the palace of a king to the dark, dampness of a remote cave, whether you measure it in miles or in status lost. As David stumbled into this remote hideout that first night, just glad to be alive, he was a man completely stripped of everything he once had.

He had only the shirt on his back, and perhaps the sword of Goliath to his name. His humiliation before the King of Gath must have stung.

In those early days in the blackness of the cave, David was a troubled man. Like you and me, when we suddenly see our situations reverse for the worse, and it seems we’ve done nothing to deserve it, questions and emotions ripped through his mind.

We don’t gain much insight into the turmoil David was experiencing in that cave from the writer of 1 Samuel. If all we had were what is written in these few verses, we might conclude that David just shrugged it off and went right on with his life, unaffected. But this was not the case. Like you and me when things go bad, he was hurting.

David was a musician and a song writer. Like many song writers today, he often turned his troubles into a song. If David was living today, we no doubt would have been a Blues musician.

A lot of powerful music has come from the heartaches and tragic experiences of songwriters.

Eric Clapton wrote his ballad Tears in Heaven right after his four year old son fell out of a window to his death in a London apartment.

David wrote many of the Psalms and one in particular he wrote in the early days in the cave as he hid from Saul and had no where else to hide. It’s Psalm 142. Try to imagine David composing this song in the dim light of a cave, where he was hiding out to save his life.

Read Psalm 142.

This Psalm gives us a tremendous insight into the turmoil David experienced as his life had apparently fallen apart.

If you are going through a dark, discouraging time, I see at least four principles that are common to all people who are going through situations that have them pretty low, through no fault of their own.

So when you are stuck in a situation where there seems to be no answer or solution in sight, where the future is unsure, when your resources are exhausted, when you feel as though you are in a prison with no way out, what can that "cave experience" do for you?

From Psalm 142, we learn some lessons about cave experiences.


One night little Joey’s parents overheard this prayer. "Now I lay me down to rest, and hope to pass tomorrow’s test, if I should die before I wake, that’s one less test I have to take."

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