(actual photo of caves of Adullam in the Engedi desert)
“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances”
Many times over David was forced to take refuge in the caves of Adullam to save his own life. All the months
of hiding from King Saul, all the months in which he endured hardship and despair. By God’s directive the
high priest Samuel had already anointed David to be the next king, and Saul felt his only recourse was to go
after David and kill him. He would have been better off to admit he’d failed as a leader and simply take a
step of faith and submit to the will of God, because God will always have His way. That’s why we call him
God. But Saul apparently didn’t have the wisdom to see it that way. Or the guts. More often than not it
takes guts to do the right thing.
The caves were as endless as the Engedi wilderness itself, a barren and forsaken land which yielded no
water or comfort. It was a place for bandits and outcasts to seek refuge because, let’s face it; it wasn’t on
anyone’s top ten list of ‘things to do and places to see before I die’. At one point 300 of David’s soldiers hid
with him in a series of caves so extensive and so deep that they couldn’t be detected. In this remote and
treacherous desert, passing caravans were known to have been swallowed up in sand storms,
camels and all.
Saul pursued David, but he and his men weren’t able to adapt to the Engedi because if you didn’t know your
way around you were dead to rights. They tried but were unsuccessful. At one point David came upon Saul
during the night and cut a piece of his garment which he showed to Saul later to prove that he could have
killed him in his sleep. Talk about returning benevolence for evil. And David’s ethics were not only honored
by God, but God lifted him up to greatness far beyond his wildest dreams. No one can out dream God.
It was in this hostel and futile land that David came to the same conclusions the Apostle Paul did centuries
later. David and Paul, the two most outstanding men in the Bible, were both wise enough to know that
whatever God called them to do, whatever direction their journeys took them, that God would protect them.
And whoever God calls, God enables.
Here’s David’s quote: “I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
And here’s Paul’s: “I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11)
The underlined words would make good mantras. David and Paul - they both got the big picture.
We need to get it too.