This morning we resume our series, The Construction of a Kingdom, as we again peer into the life of David in 1 Samuel 22. By the series title, I am inferring a process by which the Lord will establish His rule in our lives that includes us in a glorious purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, "For I know the plans that I have toward you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." His kingdom includes His plans, His favor, His peace extended in every area of your life - family, occupation, ministry, relationships
In David's life we find valuable concepts about laying claim to God's promises and power. There are some key events in his life, which led to his current circumstances in our text. When we left David, he stood victorious over the fallen giant, Goliath. David the shepherd boy, a man after God's heart, and the person which the Lord had hand picked for the throne of Israel was well on his way to becoming a king. He had been promoted in the ranks of King Saul's royal, military staff, but the king eventually turns on David to murder him.
I Samuel 18 - 21 reveal a period of great loss in David's life. Conspiring to have David killed; Saul employs his military to track him down. With David on a run for his life, he loses precious relationships; his wife, his counselor in the Prophet Samuel, his best friend in Jonathan. (It would make a great country ballad). His escape from Saul led him to four places in the wilderness; each with significant connotations. They became locations where he found his true refuge in the Lord.
Often, difficult circumstances can dictate our most pressing needs. It's in the loneliness and strain of our dilemmas and trials that reveal where we find strength and hope. Before the Lord can complete His kingdom in us, we have to learn to form our refuge in Him.
Theme: By taking refuge in the Lord, He can prepare us for His glorious purposes.
1 Protection I Samuel 22:1
As a Hee Haw generation, we remember the weekly sketch with Junior Samples, Buck Owens, Grandpa Jones, and Goober hanging out in their overalls singing about their dilemmas; who was dumped by their girlfriend, who's dog was caught in the hay bailer… They sang, Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery; if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Their weekly spoof was comical and we laughed.
We don't laugh as hard when gloom, despair, and agony are stalking our lives. David can't run beyond the threat of Saul's murderous anger. We could say that David had bottomed out. How desperate was David? The Hebrew wording in verse 1 suggests that in the midst of his circumstances, he just wanted to vanish and preserve his life. David was simply trying to keep together his remaining strands of sanity.
Psalm 142 reveals his decimated spirited… Can you sense the desolation of his soul? For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul. Every precious, earthly relationship has been removed from David. Circumstances have estranged him from the comfort and shelter of his closest companions. In the clammy cave of Adullam, David realized that no amount of running or hiding could lead him to a sufficient shelter. He could outrun Saul, but not his own loss.
Verse 5 reveals the secret of the turnaround David was about to experience… He advertised no other need than his need for God. His problems could not outweigh his trust and the empty refuge of a dark cave gave way to David's true refuge in God…
David had run far, but not far enough from the presence of the Lord. He could elude Saul's wrath, but not the Sovereign presence of God. I believe that David had been brought to a place where God can shape him and use him. It's in the dead end of a cave that God could re-route his life. The place to escape in distress is into the loving presence of God. When hounded by your enemies run headlong into the secure presence of the Lord.
Remember David is a man after God's heart. His heart and life were totally toward God to please Him and trust Him. At this crucial juncture in his life, tremendous faith comes to the forefront of his life and his confident expression in God is made in verse 7… David could make that kind of a confession because he knew God.
When God is engineering His kingdom in our lives it is critical that we possess knowledge of Him in a one to one experience. It's often through the difficulties we face that we find refuge in so many other things and we turn to them for escape. We run from Him.