Summary: Is it possible that our lives have become so self-centered, so complicated, so full of things, that we no longer care? (Powerpoint Available - #215)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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(This is a sermon adapted from one I read years ago. I would be happy to credit the original author if I knew who. Can anyone help me?)
TEXT: Psalms 142:1-7
Listen as I read Psalm 142, a psalm that was written by David 3,000 years ago.
"I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble.
"When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right & see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my soul (NASV).
"I cry to you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.' Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
"Set me free from my prison, that I may praise Your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me."
It was cold & damp in the cave. Moisture was collecting on the roof & dropping to the hard, cold floor with a "splat." David pulled his cloak tightly around his shoulders & shivered. He had not come prepared for the dampness.
"I could stand the dampness, though," he thought, "if I just had some food." Hunger pangs were gnawing at his stomach.
David was hiding. Jonathan's signal with the arrows had told him what he had feared that King Saul was trying to kill him. Then had followed his mad dash to find a place of safety.
And now David was hiding in a cave. "Splat, splat," fell the drops. There was no way to start a fire. He had no food. He was cold, wet, & hungry.
But the greatest cold was not in his body; it was in his soul. And the greatest hunger gnawing at him was not hunger for food; it was hunger for understanding, for companionship, for love.
David could stand the dampness, the cold, the discomfort. Others had & he could, too. He had been uncomfortable & in danger before on the field of battle. But then he had been surrounded by others who were fighting for the same cause.
But now he was alone. He could stand the discomfort. He could not stand the loneliness.
Those of us who have never had to flee for our lives don't really under¬stand how David felt. He had done nothing to King Saul. His only crime was doing his best & trusting in God.
The people had shouted: "Saul has killed his thousands, & David his tens of thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7). And Saul's jealousy became a murderous rage!
A hunted animal. That's what he was. Not even Jonathan could come to him for that would betray his hiding place. He was alone without family, with¬out friends all alone.
And no one seemed to care. No one but God.
Then, in that cold, dark, damp cave, David began to sing. He did not have his harp with him, but his voice, soft as the wind & charged with emo¬tion, filled the cave.
He had often sung to his sheep or to King Saul. Now he sang of his lone¬liness, & of his faith. He sang of his feeling of being forsaken, & how only God was with him.
The song that David sang in the cave of Adullam has been preserved for us today. No doubt his feelings, his emotion was so strong that David never forgot it, & later wrote it down. In our Bible, it is the 142nd Psalm which we read a few moments ago.
The emptiness of that cave & the yearning of his heart have echoed down through the years in the words of vs. 4: "Look to my right & see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my refuge...'"
David was fortunate in that he had his faith in God. He was able to believe that even when men had forsaken him, God was still near. But I’m afraid that many today don't have that kind of faith. And the cry of their hearts may often be: "No one cares for my soul."
ILL. A little lady, up in years, rose early & cooked her breakfast. But for some reason she wasn't very hungry. She went outside & got the paper. "My, but aren't people busy," she thought, "doing so many things."