Summary: Those who would experience Christ’s victory in this life must gather to Him outside the ’camp’.
C. H. MacKintosh pointed out that there are three rests spoken of in Scripture. The first, is the rest which we, as sinners, find in the finished work of Christ to take away the penalty for our sins. The second is a rest we are called to at the present, which, as saints, we find in being entirely submitted to the will of God. The third rest spoken of is the rest that remains for the people of God, eternally, glorified and in His presence.
David becomes a beautiful example of the second type of rest for us, in the snapshot we get of him right here in these two verses. He has already been anointed king, and since that anointing came from God’s man, David must know that in God’s eyes, he is king, even though Saul still sits on the throne. But he is at peace, and willing to wait for God’s timing, because his years in the desert with his father’s sheep, and his time in the house of Saul and even his ill-treatment at Saul’s hands, has taught him that perfect peace is being in the center of God’s will.
It was quite probably while sitting in the caves of Adullam, that David penned the words of the 94th Psalm, where he says,
“This poor man cried and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those
who fear Him,
And rescues them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who
takes refuge in Him!”
The Castle or the Cave
Chapter 21 of I Samuel recounts the early travels of David after he was warned by Saul’s son Jonathan and fled the presence of the jealous king.
Then verse 1 of our text says that David escaped to the cave of Adullam. And that is accurate, of course; at that moment David was avoiding the clutches of Israel’s enemy, King Achish of the Philistines. But I want you to see today, that these caves were much more than a hiding place and a place of refuge. They were a place of growth and training and waiting on the Lord.
How many times in the history of God’s people, even up to the lives of those hearing this sermon, has it been proven that we grow the most, and learn the most, after His Spirit has removed all distractions from us; taken us out of our comfort zone, kicked all of our standards and expectations out from under us, and taken us to a humble, lonely place, where only we and He know what’s going on in our hearts?
David is called a man after God’s own heart, and we can certainly see His likeness to Christ in His refusal to attack God’s anointed in order to ascend to his rightful place; as Christ, the greater David, humbly submitted Himself to the plan and purpose of the Father, and waited and obeyed unto death. He, who...
“In the days of His flesh, ...offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety”
“...although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered, and having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.”
Saul sat in comfort on the throne of the castle, rejected of God, but refusing to surrender or submit to Him.
This is the way of the world, and even, unfortunately, in our own hearts as Christians; that we would prefer to be outside of God’s will and comfortable in this world ~ even enjoying the passing pleasures of sin, in order to avoid the discomfort that may be involved in having it removed from us.
But the way of peace; the way of Christ-likeness; the way of obedience and blessing and eventual exaltation, is always, always, outside the camp with Him.
Remember, David was taking refuge in the caves, but he was still the king; and Christ was despised and rejected of men, but He was never less than King of Kings; and if we are identified with Him in this world, we too will be despised and rejected by a Satan-owned world system... but we remain nonetheless, royal children of the King.
Remember the exhortation of Peter:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time...” (I Pet. 5:6)
The day of triumph is coming, but this is still the day of Christ’s humility, and we are here, in the cave of Adullam, to continue His work of humility and patience; suffering with Him outside the camp of this world, until the trumpet sounds.