Sunday, April 26, 2020


It was actually before the time when David became the king of Judah, and unlike today’s situation, it was not because of the Covid-19 virus that he was in self-quarantine. Actually, neither did I before think of his situation as being in “self-quarantine;” but that is essentially what it was.

David was isolating himself from what was for him a deadly enemy. The enemy was not a coronavirus, or actually a disease of any kind. The one who was seeking his life was in fact the reigning king of the day, King Saul.

Saul jealously and selfishly viewed David as a threat to the throne, and like the virus of our own day, Saul seemed to be looking for opportunities and manners with which he could infect and end the life of David.

The place where David put himself in his self-quarantine was in a cave called Adullam. It turned out that he was not alone in that place for long. Soon his brothers, his parents and the rest of the household came to join him. Then after that, some four hundred other men also came to the cave.

It probably may not have been the best of company for David. I do not know how the family got along. At one time David’s brothers had been jealous of him, but perhaps those feelings had been forgotten. But the other four hundred men who had come to the cave had come with the baggage of their own issues. These men are described in 1 Samuel 22 as “the distressed or indebted or discontented.” It seems not the choicest of company.

Perhaps some of you in our own day can relate somewhat to David’s situation. Perhaps you are beginning to feel like you are stuck in your own cave with some others who possess some less desirable traits which are beginning to take their toll on your own well-being.

Like all of us, David had his good days and bad days. But instead of himself becoming bitter, David made the best of the situation. One of the ways that he did this was by exercising the talents that he possessed and which he enjoyed. Among the talents that David possessed were those of a musician, a composer and a poet.

It was actually during the many months when David was fleeing from King Saul when he composed a good part of the Psalms. In reading some of what David wrote, we can see much of what his days were like. He was not in denial over his situation. He wrote words of complaint and how he thought his situation was incredibly unfair.

“I cry aloud to the LORD… I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him,” David wrote one day when he was in the cave.

Like the four hundred in the cave with him, at times David felt distressed: “Look to my right and see; no one attends to me. There is no refuge for me; no one cares for my soul.”

But after voicing his complaints, David inevitably changes his perspective. His perspective begins to change once he voices these words; 

I cry to You, O LORD: You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living…
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy, for in You my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings I will take shelter until the danger has passed.
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.
He reaches down from heaven and saves me; He rebukes those who trample me.  

We can actually see the attitude of David change as he works through his situation. David refuses to allow himself to be engulfed in self-pity. David, the isolated fugitive who was fleeing those who were seeking his life, forces himself to awaken his better nature and to remember what is essential to him:

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make music. Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing Your praises among the peoples.
For Your loving devotion reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; may Your glory cover all the earth. 

For the future king, this time of self-isolation was far from a wasted time in his life. Instead of growing in resentment because of his situation and resentment toward those four hundred “distressed, indebted and discontented,” he became to them a leader. They began to look to David as their captain.

We can all take a lesson from David in his time of quarantine. It was a time that God was doing something in the future king’s life that perhaps could not have otherwise been accomplished. God was building in David traits and virtues that he would need for future responsibilities.

God can do the same in each of us during our own quarantines. You may not have the same talents of expression as did David. You may not be a composer or a poet, but each of us possess some talent of expression. You can find yours in what you love to do. It may be in your garden. It may be in your singing or in getting your fields ready for the crops you will soon plant. Perhaps you like to draw, or do wood working. These are all ways in which we express ourselves. There are a thousand other ways as well.

God will use this time of self-quarantine to strengthen and establish you so that you can say as did David: 

I will sing Your praises among the peoples.
For Your loving devotion reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.


(Readings from Psalm 57 and 142, written by David when he was in the cave of Adullam)

Stay well. Stay safe. And stay in touch with God
Love and Prayers, Pastor Don

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Don for your insightfulness and encouraging words. They are needed by all of us not only in times of distress but also in times of joy and plenty.


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