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For Cave Dwellers Only, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2022 7:05 am

For Cave Dwellers Only, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 10, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Sometimes we're tempted to buy into the false notion that those who follow God and keep His commandments will never encounter another problem, will never feel lonely, never become disappointed. Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll debunks those ideas because of the convincing evidence found in 1 Samuel 22. In this passage, we find David on the run.

The flagrant betrayal of his friends and loved ones was painful. And if you missed any portion of yesterday's program, we'll have the benefit of hearing Chuck's summary. He titled his message, For Cave Dwellers Only. Just another, just soaring.

It is not. It includes the cave. And if you're there tonight, I say to you, it is all part of the strategy. The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment.

The making of a saint is the task of a lifetime. And God isn't about to give up, even when you're in a cave. He's not through, even though you're the lowest you've ever been. There was no comfort, and frankly, there was no hope. Back in 1 Samuel 22, everything seemed lost. Now if you hear only this part of the message, you hear only half of it, I want you to feel the dampness of the cave.

Even for some who were on the mountaintop, at least imagine what it must have been like. He has nothing. Nothing. Now, since we believe in a sovereign God, we are convinced that when He brings us to nothing, it is to reroute our lives, not to end our lives. Human perspective says, uh-huh, you've lost this, you've lost that, you've lost that. You have caused this, you have caused that. You have ruined this, you have ruined that. End your life. God says, no, no, you're in the cave, reroute your life.

Your first direction was wrong. That's exactly what He does with David. And David hangs out no shingle.

David advertises no need except to God. He is alone in a cave, and for all he knew, nobody else knew he was there in that depressed state away. He came away from everything, and look at what God did. Look at the challenge.

Look at what it involved. David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam, and look who came. When his brothers and all his father's household heard of it, they went down there to him. If you're a student of the life of David, you don't have to remember too hard to come to that place when in the recent past, David only didn't even know he was existing. His father did not bring him as a possible candidate for the kingship.

Remember that? He left him out in the field, and Samuel had to say, is this all your sons? No, I've got a boy that keeps the sheep. He wasn't even significant to his father. He had to be seen.

But here he is, broken at the end without crutches, and would you look, those brothers and the father and the household went down to him. Now let me add a practical note. When you're in the cave, you don't want people around. If you've been involved in leadership very much, there are times that you can't stand to be with people. You hate to admit it publicly.

In fact, you usually don't, but it's true. Sometimes you just want to be alone. And I have a feeling that this cave dweller, David, wanted nobody around because if he wasn't worth anything to himself, he didn't see his worth to anybody else.

It's kind of a worm theology. I am no good. I am fuzzy and ugly and scratchy. Nobody wants to be around me.

They'll just start itching. David didn't want his family, but they came. Look at that. God brought people to David. And I'm convinced he didn't want them, but God brought them. And they went to him. They crawled in the cave with him. They came to him.

Now look at something else. They weren't the only ones. Strangers came. What a group. Everyone who was in distress, under pressure, under stress.

A body of pressured people. Second, there were those who were in debt. And third, there were the marnefesh, which means to be in bitterness of soul, to have been used and wronged and mistreated.

That group came. What does all this mean? Well, it means that in that day, the land was aching under the rule of Saul. Saul had overtaxed the people.

He had used them. He was a madman given to intense depression, and they were suffering the consequences. And they couldn't stand any longer. So there were these people who were depressed and in debt and discontented, and they were malcontents.

There was a cave full of malcontents. And look at the next chapter. Chapter 23, verse 13.

Then David and his men, 600 it says, they arose and departed from Keilah. And he goes on to tell stories of battle and victory in battle. Now, I want you to see something.

You wouldn't get this, but just glancing over the cave of Adullam and then zinging on to something else. I want you to see. I want you to feel it. God is rerouting the life of David. Sure, he's in the cave. Sure, he feels worthless. He feels useless. He feels mistreated. He feels misunderstood.

He's in the cave. Then his brothers come. His family comes. And then, before long, strangers begin to die.

They're going to drop in. And I don't know how the word traveled, but before long, there were 600 people who became his ministry. See what it says? It says he became captain. He accepted the leadership over them. Do you know that these men became David's mighty men, and they became his cabinet when he took office? He turned these lives around so that he built into them. Character and direction. What a crucial decision not to walk away.

He became the captain. There is a ministry that's going on in our church that doesn't get a lot of Madison Avenue pizazz, but it's going on. It's a ministry to the misunderstood, the single parents. Some of you are here tonight.

The ceiling list number is 160. 160 single parents who, for one reason or another, the mates have chosen to walk away, and they're left with the assignment of rearing children against all kinds of odds. In our church is a couple. There are several couples that work with these, but I'm thinking of one in particular that did not know God's direction for their lives. Until they were, as it were, in the cave, and in walked 160 hurting people who held out their hearts in their hands and said, could you help us?

Could we just meet in your home, and could you help us to find enablement so that we can cope? And they did. It's their ministry. Isn't that beautiful?

A whole redirection so that now this couple has their hands full. David became like a Robin Hood. That was his style. You know, earlier all of his battle was done in full Israeli armor under the auspices of Saul with all the finest of equipment. David was left with a group of mavericks because God wanted him to become a maverick king. Israel never saw a king like David when he finally took the throne because he was beaten all the way down, and there was no way to look but up.

And when he looked up, God brought this crew to him little by little until finally they became the mighty men of Israel. There were two others he wrote. Psalm 57 was the next one.

We don't know what order he wrote these in, but it seems to fit in a backwards order. 142 when he was at his lowest moment on his face. Psalm 57 when he's on his knees. And then finally Psalm 34 when he's on his feet.

But before we look at that, look at 57. Be gracious to me, O God. Be gracious to me. Maybe this is when the strangers began to come into the cave. This is a miktam of David when he fled from Saul in the cave. Always notice the superscription under the title of the Psalm because that'll tell you the context if it's known.

This is when he's in the cave. Be gracious to me. My soul takes refuge in thee, and in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge.

Notice he's looking up, no longer just looking within. I will cry to God most high, to God who accomplishes all things for me. I will come to heaven and save me. Verse four, my soul is among lions.

Here were the men sharing the cave, the lions. I must lie among those who breathe forth fire. Even the sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword. If you've ever worked with malcontents, you know that's true. They are a thankless, thoughtless body of people so overwhelmed with their own needs they don't pay attention to your needs as a leader.

They're sucking, they're draining from you the things that they need. And so he says to God, verse five, be exalted above the heavens, O God. Verse seven, my heart is steadfast, my heart is steadfast. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises. Verse eleven, be exalted above the heavens. See where his eyes are, O God, you be exalted. In chapter 142, he's saying, I'm in the cave, I'm at the end, there's no one on the right hand or left.

I have no one who cares. And now in Psalm 57, he says, now you be gracious to me, God. I'm stretched, I'm pulled beyond my limits.

You meet my needs. So it's a crying out. It's a declaration of dependence.

Now look at 34. This is the third Psalm he wrote while in the cave. What a difference. What a change came over David. He says, I will bless the Lord at all times.

My praise shall continually be in my mouth. By the way, we haven't taken the time tonight to look, but in the first Chronicles passage, you will find that those men who became trained in leadership under David became acutely able with the sword and with the bow and arrow. They had training practices. They learned how to get their act together in battle.

They became, though maverick, they became skilled hunters and fighters so that they actually suppressed the attacks of the Philistines by and by. Saul had long since forgotten to protect the land and David picked it up in a new way. He says, boast in the Lord. The humble shall hear it and rejoice. He says to his men, magnify the Lord with me.

Let us exalt his name together. He's putting their eyes on the Lord. I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Lord, you his saints, for to those who fear him, there is no want. And to the discontented, he says, the young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. They are the caves of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Let me share with you three applications I find as I study these Psalms and this brief passage in Samuel.

It needs to be declared to someone. If you have no one, then the Lord. That's Psalm 142. He heard enough to admit his need. One man writes a moving account of his attempt to get a group of fourteen men and women in the church to communicate with one another at more than a superficial level. He had been attending the same church for years without knowing anyone else's personal feelings about anything.

No hurt was ever admitted. In an effort to help the people learn how to do that with one another at a deeper level, this man suggested that each person simply relate incidents from their past which had helped form their personalities. Much to his disappointment, everyone of the fourteen appeared to be faking it. He had positive experiences and feelings.

We really do that, don't we? Near the end of the session, as he was about to conclude the experiment had been a failure, one young woman poured out her feelings of insecurity, inferiority, and despair. She finished the confession by stating that all she wanted was what other people in the group already had. And then this closing comment, we sat there stunned by the reality which had drawn us irresistibly toward this thin, totally unprotected young woman. And I realized that it was we who needed what she had.

As I looked around the group, I knew that somehow because this theologically unsophisticated honest woman had turned loose her silence and her pride, and had reached out in total honesty that it was safe for us to start becoming one in Christ Jesus. He heard enough to admit his need. Second, he was honest enough to cry for help.

That's Psalm 57. He just cried for help. We have lived under such a veneer so long in our generation that we hardly know how to cry for help. There's scarcely a husband who will cry out to his wife when he is in great need. For fear of losing something when in fact he will gain something.

She will adore him for letting the cracks show. Third, he was humble enough to learn from God. How tragic it is that we can live in one cave after another and never learn from God. As I surveyed this passage and all its implications, I tell you, I thought of Jesus and his coming from the glories of heaven to accept a body of malcontents and sinners like us. God forbid that we ever get over the incarnation, the crucifixion.

In fact, God designed that we never do that. He said, you keep observing the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus until he comes back, which is nothing more than observing the cave in which he was placed. Having lost everything and having come to an end, God rerouted humanity and brought us through worthy is the lamb that was slain. May we bow together, please.

Let's just be quiet and let him speak. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way.

They are together unprofitable. Even though all of that is true, he who knew no sin was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Tonight, prepare yourself, laying your life before him as a sheep that's gone his own way, crawled into the cave, brought on by foolish actions, decisions. But tonight, claim his grace.

Look up. He'll bring you out. Our Father, we ask that you make this a time of memorable worship. We ask for a time in which we might just be lost in wonder, love, and praise, claiming your forgiveness, the sunshine of your hope that shines on the mouth of our caves. We step out into it confident that you will not turn us away through Jesus Christ. We claim this. Amen. It's remarkable to witness God at work in David's life, even while hunkered down in a cave hiding from his enemies.

Please stay with us. Chuck Swindoll will conclude today's program in just a moment. And if you'd like to learn more about Chuck and this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insightworld.org. But first, I'll remind you that Insight for Living has a long history of providing Bible study tools to complement each series.

These study tools have been produced because sometimes the deepest spiritual lessons you learn occur apart from this program when you're reading the Bible on your own. Along those lines, you might want to purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on David. It's called David, A Man of Passion and Destiny. At Insight for Living, we take delight in helping listeners and readers learn how to apply the truth of God's word to every aspect of their lives. In this biographical study, Chuck's practical insights are intended to help readers learn to think biblically no matter what issues they face, no matter how bad they've blown it. David's life, as you'll recall, was rife with struggle and some major blunders along the way.

And yet, God still pointed to him and said, there, that one is after my own heart. Well, to discover his journey and how you can live in harmony as well, we encourage you to purchase a copy of David, A Man of Passion and Destiny. It's available at insight.org slash offer. Or if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Once again, that's 800-772-8888. And Chuck, right now we're calling on every listener to respond to help us move forward with another successful year of ministry. There's a lot at stake this month, and we know that when all of us band together, we can easily reach the June 30th goal. Our mission at Insight for Living Ministries is to make disciples, plain and simple. And that means we're equipping Christians here at home as well as around the world to think biblically so that Christians are prepared to act biblically.

We want the truth of God's Word to flow through the veins of every listener, like healthy red blood pumping life into the hearts of every follower of Christ. I love the way Charles Haddon Spurgeon once put it. With a twinkle in his eyes, Spurgeon wrote this, I love that line, so that your blood is bibbling. By the way, what's your blood type, Chuck? Next time they draw a sample from my arm, I'm going to tell the nurse, I'm bibbling.

By the way, what's yours? Here's the point. June 30th marks the end of our financial year. Our needs are enormous, no exaggeration. But really, it's not about money. It's about equipping clear-thinking Christians, day in and day out. I'm calling you to be part of something phenomenal. God will use your gift to cultivate bibbling Christians.

By investing your charitable donation in Insight for Living Ministries, you're equipping others to think biblically, so that they're prepared to act biblically. Take down this contact information, and then please get back in touch with us today. Together, let's accomplish something phenomenal. Thanks, Chuck. We invite you to give generously toward this worthy cause.

Here's how to respond. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. That's 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll continues to describe the fascinating story of David's life. That's Monday on Insight for Living. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 09:44:20 / 2023-04-07 09:52:21 / 8

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