Summary: God does His best work in caves. When we get to the end of ourselves and have no where to look but up, then God can whisper to us in the cave, "I’m still here. I haven’t left you." When we realize He is all we want, we find out He is all we really need.
We’re going to be in the Book of First Samuel; if you have a Bible you can turn there, and we’ll get there at some point. I think that, when you’re talking about hope; the biggest problem with hope is, when we are going thru trouble, we don’t know how to kind of deal with it right? So, check it out: Before Christ, we just handled stuff ourselves; before Christ, we’re just in control, or we think we are; before Christ, we just, when trouble happens or a problem happens, we somehow think we will figure out a way to get out of it.
When you come to Christ, it’s a whole different plan; you begin to live with a whole different set of Kingdom principles. We’re going to look at one of my all time favorite heroes in the Bible, David; and David got something that I think we miss. If we can re-learn, because when you come to Christ there’s this whole thing of re-learning about life and the way things work, because the way things work in life are different than what they were like, right?
Now, to start off, I just want to illustrate by saying that I, as a Pastor, am not all that mechanical. That might come as a shock for some of you, but I’m just not. You know, I’m the type of guy that when I open the hood of a car? I stand there and look at it in awe. I’m just amazed at everything, every single thing about it. And sometimes the car will break down, and Michelle and I will be out, and I’ll get out to act like I’m going to fix it and look under the hood and she’s like, "Why? Why would you even do that? What would be the point exactly, because you’re not going to be able to do anything;" and I’ll just start grabbing things; and isn’t this the way it is, we just kind of start grabbing on to things but it doesn’t make the car start.
See, I think it’s like that in our lives as Christ followers; we just start kind of grabbing on to things and thinking we can change it and it’s like, "That doesn’t really work that way." And I’m a Pastor, I understand that I’m mechanically challenged. I understand it, I get it, I admit it, I own it. The fact is and the truth is, there are things that we probably should be careful about trying to fix on our own; troubles and trials, and problems; and the fact is, when you look at David’s life, he ended up in a place that he never counted on being.
So here’s David in First Samuel sixteen, he is anointed King of Israel, the next King. He would succeed Saul; he’s not even in the blood-line. It should have gone Saul and then Jonathan; instead it went Saul and then David. He’s like, "What? That’s the promise God? I’m going to be a King?" "Yeah, you’re going to be the King; you’re going to be the next King of this country."
In First Samuel seventeen, he slays Goliath; then in First Samuel eighteen, he becomes best friends with Jonathan, Saul’s son. They were ’close knit’, the Bible uses the word picture, "God knit their hearts together," Jonathan and David’s hearts. Jonathan had every right to be mad at David; but he chose to follow what God would want in his life, and he chose to accept what God was doing in David’s life, and he chose to support David; and as a symbol, gave him his sword and his armor. There were two swords in the whole army -- Saul’s and Jonathan’s. Jonathan gave him his sword to say, "You’re the guy."
In First Samuel nineteen, things turn ugly because Saul all of a sudden, is jealous; and the Bible says that "Saul turned a jealous eye toward David." [1Samuel 18:9] And from that point on friends, it became the hunt of David’s life. It caused David to run; David ends up in a place some of you are in right now. David ends up in a cave. David ends up running, first of all to Gath where Goliath was from. He ends up running, and everywhere he went, Saul found out and starts chasing him. Can you imagine, God promises you a throne; God promises you a palace; God promises you you’ll be married; God promises you that you will have kids that will follow God; God promises you that you will have this job, or this business. You hear from God, God promises, and then you end up saying, "Whatever;" and you’re on the run and you go in to a season of loss.
David lost everything he knew. He lost his country; he lost the respect of the people; he lost his position, evidently; he lost his best friend; he lost his job, militarily speaking he was ’the guy’; he lost everything. He ends up running from Saul, and ends up in a cave. The Bible talks about, and we don’t know exactly, but scholars believe that the period of David in the wilderness and in the caves; from First Samuel chapter twenty-two, all the way to chapter thirty; that time frame is about ten or twelve years. In this ten or twelve years, a few things happened that I think will help us navigate thru times that I call ’cave times’. We’re going to be in a cave, we’re going to end up in a place that we never planned on being; you’re going to feel like God promised you a palace, God promised you a throne, God promised you this; and you’re going to end up saying, "Where’s the promise?" And my fear for us is that we’ll quit before God’s done.