Cave of Adullam
Men gathered to David in a place called Adullam. There is little said about that time, but 1 Sam 21:1-2 describe it briefly. There are other things like Psalm 57 that could be a result of David’s trials during this time. He may have been motivated by remembering what God had done in the past (1 Sam 17:45-47). At any rate I hope you enjoy this embellished account at the Cave of Adullam.
He gripped the stone in his fist. His hand trembled slightly as he tightened his fingers and imagined it crushed by the force. Teeth clenched and brown furrowed, David finally released the pressure. Opening his palm; there sat the oblong sphere intact. It had been smoothed and rounded by hundreds, maybe even thousands of years of running water. A curious red line ran through the middle of the grainy brown rock. Several days ago David had stooped at the edge of the brook to retrieve it; the same brook, that of Elah, where he had taken five similar stones not so long ago. Pondering his present situation he fingered the pommel of the sword lying at his side and closed his eyes.
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.
He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me;
God sends his love and his faithfulness.
I am in the midst of lions;
I lie among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.”
As the song drifted from his lips, the crunching of pebbles under feet echoed down the gorge. David sprang up and hefted the large sword in both hands. He wished he had his own sword, but Goliaths would have to do. In his haste, this was the only weapon he had been able to collect on his journey to the valley.
Several figures rounded the boulder. The bearded faces reflected the dusty chore of travel. David broke into a broad, toothy smile.
“Eliab my brother, you are a sight for sore eyes,” David belted out as the men approached.
“What, am I chopped liver now,” piped up Shammah from behind Eliab. “Just cuz I’m not first born – I get no respect…” He gave a look of shallow hurt and shrugged his shoulders. A smile broke through finally as he couldn’t pretend any longer. The brothers traded several jubilant embraces.
Jesse, David’s father stepped forward and placed a hand on his cheek, “My son…”
“Get the boy some food,” his mother goaded as she shooed the men out of the way. “He’s withering down to the bone.” Taking him in her arms she wept between kisses and laughter.
As the sun slowly melted into dusk, they headed into the cave David had chosen for shelter. The clay bricks framing the entrance crumbled slightly with the battering of armor and equipment while the men passed through. The women quickly organized the hill dwelling to accommodate several dozen people. Soon the smell of bread wafted into the hideout from a cooking fire close to the entrance.
“A lot has happened since Pas Dammim,” reflected Eleazar. He wriggled his fingers in the fading light; the fingers that had never fully recovered from the battle. They were still prone to locking up when fatigued. “When Goliath toppled to the ground at your feet, I never imagined we would be hiding out in a cave, rejected by our own. I’m with you heart and soul my king. When none would stand for Israel, you did. I am yours to command.”
“Eye,” echoed the voices around the chamber.
David looked from face to face – Brothers, cousins, comrades, and all the downtrodden of Saul. They had come to him. Why? He had nowhere to go, no land to call home. Had Samuel been mistaken? His kingdom was a hole in the rocks.
His lips quivered, and his eyes filled with frustration’s dew. How could he lead these men to victory when he refused to kill his own king, or think to take on the Philistines with a small band of outcasts?
His own voice drifted from the past – “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Seeing the needy depth in the eyes around him, David found resolve. He didn’t have to lead these men. God would lead them. He had been carried thus far by his Lord’s strength, and he would continue on.
They were mighty men – God’s mighty men.
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