When I went off to college in eastern Kentucky, I soon learned what the term “spelunking” meant. I discovered that a spelunker was a person who explored caves and under ground caverns. A popular past time was to go to Carter Caves State Park and to explore the caves there. Many students at Kentucky Christian College enjoyed spelunking. Many a person reassured me that going caving was a fun thing. I don’t really want to offend anyone that enjoys spelunking but caves are not pleasant places. Caves are cold, dark, damp and icky. On top of that they are confining and a nightmare if you suffer from claustrophobia. To me the best part about caving is when you are exiting the cave and see that first glimmer of daylight. I wonder if David liked caves. I doubt it since he was the outdoorsy type who likes the wide-open spaces. While he was forced to hide from King Saul his unofficial headquarters became an underground cavern. David’s gloomy surroundings seem almost fitting. He was down. He was in a pit. Saul’s heart was as cold and hard as the walls of that cave. If you have ever been so discouraged that you have felt like crawling in a hole, then you can appreciate David’s state of mind. He was destined to one day become King, but at the moment could hardly show is face in public. We can learn some very valuable lessons about Spiritual Spelunking from David. Eventually all of us will spend some time in a cave. We fall into the pits of depression, caverns of grief, dark holes of doubt. Sometimes it feels like we will never escape from the cave. But eventually we do, and in the process God uses our spiritual spelunking to build our faith. Let’s take a look at what we can learn from David and apply it to our lives.
I. Finding purpose in all the dark caverns of life.
A. God took care of David even while he was stuck in the pit of despair.
1. Psalm 57 was written by David, when he had fled from Saul into a cave.
2. When David was at a low point he called out to God and praised Him.
3. Saul searched high and low for David but God refused to allow David to fall into Saul’s hands.
B. God provided David with a new group of friends and supporters during this time in hiding.
1. David’s new group of supporters was dysfunctional with a capital “D”.
2. At first glance these men appear to be misfits, losers, failures and castoffs. Living proof of the saying “misery loves company.”
3. These men are not what you would expect the future king to hang out with, but David became their leader and provided direction and guidance.
4. These misfits soon became known as David’s mighty men.
5. Never underestimate what God can do with people, especially when they receive the right kind of Godly leadership.
6. Jesus did the same thing with His twelve disciples.
7. God can turn losers into winners, sinners into saints, the confused into the committed, the hurting into the hopeful.
C. Although David was victimized by Saul, he did not seek out revenge against him.
1. While David and his men were hiding in the cave, guess who just happened to wander into the cave.
2. Saul had cam into the cave to go to the bathroom.
3. While Saul was preoccupied David crept up and cut-off the corner of his robe, imagine Saul’s thoughts when David called out and let him know what had just happened.
4. David confronted Saul with the truth, not with violence or a spirit of revenge.
5. David’s grace even touched the hard heart of Saul.
6. Like David when life begins to cave in upon us we need to react with patience and grace.
D. Despite being angry, David was still willing to accept advice.
1. David encounters a man named Nabal. The name Nabal means, “fool.” A good description of this mans character.
2. David requested Nabal to let his men attend his festival and Nabal angrily refused.
3. David sent his men to Nabal to take care of the problem.
4. Nabal’s wife Abigail intervened and David accepted her advice and didn’t engage in any unnecessary bloodshed.
5. Often it is hard to accept wise advice, but if we are going to survive our times in the spiritual caves, we need to learn to accept wise counsel.
E. Even though David was living on the run, he had not lost any of his courage.
1. David crept into Saul’s camp unnoticed one night, he could of easily killed Saul with his own spear, but instead he boldly trusted God’s power and timing.
2. Courage often calls for us speak up and take action, but sometimes it takes more courage to refrain from acting and trusting God.
3. Jesus could have called ten thousand angels to rescue Him from the cross, but He bravely endured the cross to complete His Father’s plan.
4. David was blessed because he trusted God.
5. David went from the cave to a crown, from the pit to the palace.
II. From the depths of the cave, David brought praise to God.
A. When you are most low, God is still most high.
1. God towers above any physical or spiritual power in the universe.
2. No human idol comes close. No problem is too big. No human philosophies can match His wisdom.
3. Despite all this, the Most High God is willing to stoop down and hear our prayers when life caves in on us.
4. Nothing in our human experience can surpass knowing the Most High God.
B. When you are exhausted, God is still exalted.
1. David’s life was caving in, but he still lifted God high.
2. When we feel exhausted, and all hope seems lost, God is still exalted.
3. God can display His power and glory even when we are at our weakest.
C. When others are hateful, God is still faithful.
1. David felt pursued and pressured, hounded and harassed, wounded and weakened, tripped and trapped.
2. David’s enemies were ruthless, but he said of God, “He sends from Heaven and saves me, and rebukes those who hotly pursue me.
3. When life begins to crush you, don’t lose heart, don’t give up, God is still faithful.
4. You can still find reason to praise Him even though you may find yourself in one of life’s deepest and darkest caves.
5. There is no place too deep that His love, mercy and grace cannot reach you.