A Refuge For Losers
By Presbyter Robert Ison, Section E
David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him (Adullam means justice of the people.) And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. (I Samuel 22:1-2)
Verse one says, David escaped from Achish, king of Gath, and went to the cave Adullam, and when all of his father’s house heard about it, they went down to him.
The cave Adullam was a refugee camp. It was a dark vault in the side of a cliff that that reached deep into the mountain side. Huddled in this clammy cavern were four hundred losers, a mob of miserable humanity. They came from all over and ended up together. We could possibly be safe in referring to them as the original Mafia. They all had one thing in common and that was a bad record. The place probably smelled like a gym locker room after a football game and sounded like a church camp dorm before lights out. None of these guys ever heard Gothard’s principles of handling irritations. They were so tough they’d make Al Capone sleep with a night light on. Anybody who got near that gang stayed as quiet as a room full of nuns. Those who crossed their paths were called victims. They were not the filthy five, or the dirty dozen… they were four hundred ‘hard-luck” losers. Shortly after this their number swelled to six hundred men. Could a shepherd from Bethlehem assume command of such a band of misfits?
It became David’s responsibility to turn that mob into an organized, well disciplined, fighting force … into mighty men of valor. Out of this group came the mighty men of David and the greatest army that Israel ever had. They came to the cave Adullam and enlisted themselves under David’s leadership. I can see David as he would group these six hundred men together, and set them down around his campfire, and in the words of Psalms 34:11 and 17, he would say to them, “come ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. The righteous cry and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their trouble.)
They were not great men, or rich men, but men of broken fortunes, and restless spirits, that didn’t know what to do for themselves.
The Bible says, first of all, that they were distressed. Distress implies mental or physical strain imposed by pain, trouble or worry. Distressed people will seek refuge. In Luke 15:18 and 19, distress caused the prodigal in a far country to cry, ‘I will arise and go to father’s house’. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. When we see ourselves in rebellion against the King of Kings, we begin to cry out in distress.
Second, some were in debt. In fleeing to David, these bankrupt, wretched people found the way of escape. Apart from the Grace of God, we find ourselves bankrupt. His death on Calvary paid the price that we might obtain victory over our rebellious nature.
Third, the Scripture says some were discontented. They were disappointed, frustrated, and restless. How many around all of us are like that today? So often, multitudes of people gather around broken cisterns, trying to satisfy their thirst, but they are disappointed. Jesus said ‘if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”. This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:3 7-39) This great promise was fulfilled on the ‘Day of Pentecost”. (Acts 2:38) Here the salvation benefits of Calvary’s atonement was applied to the lives of believers through the Plan of Salvation. In order to get rid of our distress, the debt of sin we owe, and our discontentment in this world, it is absolutely necessary for us to repent, be baptized in water in the Name of Jesus Christ, and receive the promise of the Holy Ghost with the Bible evidence of speaking in other tongues. This experience will deliver you from the kingdom of darkness and place you in the Kingdom of God, as a born-again Christian.
These six hundred men, who were distressed, bankrupt and dissatisfied were converted from the kingdom of Saul to the Kingdom of David by choice. They had nothing to commend them but their desperate need of the help of God. The moment they came to David they became Saul’s enemy. As long as we stay in the world and are in bondage to the devil, we are a loser, both now and forever, but God wants us to run into His refuge (His shelter and protection). The Name of the Lord (Jesus) is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and are safe.
If your life has been totally disoriented by sin, don’t give up on God until you’ve tried ‘Apostolic Pentecost’. Obey Acts 2:38, receive Acts 2:4. This promise is for you and your children (Acts 2 39).
The Above Material Was Published By The Kentucky District News, November 1998, Page 3. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.