Summary: David was in a state of depression while in the Cave of Adullam. He was in there with all the bats, both winged and two-legged. But he found a way out of that cave and so can we.
LIVING WITH THE BATS
Psalms 142:1-7, "
As I was reading these verses I was reminded that some years ago we made a trip out to New Mexico and visited the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The caverns are part of a huge complex of caves going deep into the earth’s crust with the deepest cave being some 1567 feet below the surface. The legend goes that these caves were discovered when a man by the name of Jim Smith was riding his horse across the desert just before dark when he saw a cloud of smoke billowing from the ground so he followed the smoke hoping to find someone to talk to and perhaps a warm meal or some coffee. What he discovered was that the smoke wasn’t really smoke. It was long cloud of bats flying out of the entrance to an underground cave. That cloud of bats can still be seen every day as they fly out near dusk and return at dawn.
Let us now turn our attention to the circumstances where David finds himself in Psalms 142.
David was on the run from King Saul. He was running for his very life. Saul had attempted to kill David and he was relentlessly pursuing David through the backcountry of Israel.
David had headed south away from the Palace of Saul and came to a place called Nob and there he met Ahimelech the priest. Nob was the location of the Tabernacle of Moses at this time. It was a small town not far from Jerusalem and it was also the place where the school of the priests was located who were in training for service in the Tabernacle of Moses. There was no reason for any of the priests or their families to have weapons and so when David asked if any could be had, the only sword around was the one that David had used to kill Goliath.
David took Goliath’s sword, strapped it to his side and off he went, still on the run from Saul’s army, traveling until he came to the city of Gath.
Do you remember the significance of Gath? It was the hometown of Goliath. Goliath had been the town hero and the champion of his people. David had killed Goliath with his own sword and now he entered into town, trying to be inconspicuous, trying to find a hiding place from Saul. It had been many years since Goliath’s death so he didn’t think anyone would recognize him.
But what he didn’t count on was that every child, born in the city of Gath, had been told the story of David and Goliath. I’m sure that paintings and drawings of Goliath were still in many of their homes, so it wasn’t hard for them to recognize Goliath’s sword that they had seen so many times. It was sword like no other. It was probably oversized to match Goliath’s size. After all, Goliath was nearly 10 ft tall. An ordinary sword would have felt like a dagger in Goliath’s hand.
The people of Gath recognized David and began to pretend that he was a crazy man, leaning against the doors of the city, slobbering all over himself and flailing his limbs in every direction.
Here was the man that is described as a man after God’s own heart, lying to the priests so that they would give him a sword and provisions, taking the national treasures of Israel’s victory over Goliath, running to the very home of his enemies, running from Saul for his life in fear, and now acting like a crazy man. What a contrast we see in David’s life, from a deceptive, fearful, lying crazy man to the sweet singer of Israel as its king!
King Achish of Gath didn’t want anything to do with this crazy man, it didn’t matter who David was. So David left Gath and fled again, deeper into the desert country, away from Saul’s ever pursuing army.