The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.
“Caves are not the ideal place for morale building. There is a certain sameness to them all, no matter how many you have lived in. Dark. Wet. Cold. Stale. A cave becomes even worse when you are its sole inhabitant…and in the distance, you can hear the dogs baying.”
When David had to flee the presence of King Saul, there were not too many places for him to take refuge. Imagine hiding out in a cold, dark cave – all alone, knowing that you were being hunted by the King and his army. Add to the emotional conflict of the situation, that David had done nothing wrong; King Saul was simply jealous of David’s relationship with God and threatened by the knowledge that David would one day replace him as King.
David had gone from shepherd to soldier to King’s companion to cave-dwelling fugitive. God was allowing everything to be crushed out of David – little by little.
So, what did this crushing circumstance produce in David? How did he respond?
For one thing, he sang to the Lord!
“There in those caves, drowned in the sorrow of his song and in the song of his sorrow, David became the greatest hymn writer and the greatest comforter of broken hearts this world shall ever know.”
Read here one of the songs written by David while hiding from King Saul in the caves.
Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me,
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.
2 I will cry to God Most High,
To God who accomplishes all things for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah.
God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.
4 My soul is among lions;
I must lie among those who breathe forth fire,
Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows
And their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down;
They dug a pit before me;
They themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
8 Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
10 For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens
And Your truth to the clouds.
11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth. – Psalm 57 NASB
David never denied how bad his situation was, but he did not let it overcome the reality that God was with him in the midst of it.
Through David’s deliberate focus on God’s character and sustaining power in his life, he was able to praise God, be comforted, and find joy in the Lord, in every circumstance.