No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
CLIMBING OUT OF YOUR CAVE
Intro: Turn to Psalm 61:1-2 and listen to what David said in those verses. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life? We all do from time to time! This text finds David is one of those times. He is in a dark, damp, dreary, depressing cave. He has experienced the loss every thing and every one he leaned on in his life. He is alone, defeated and discouraged. David is in one of the cave experiences of life.
What David did not see at the time, but soon came to understand, was the fact that God was behind it all and in control of it all. David did not know it at the time but God was going to use his time in the cave to help David grow stronger in the Lord. The day would soon come when David would emerge from that cave far stronger in the Lord than he was when he entered that time in his life.
There are times when we too find ourselves in one of life’s cave experiences. We think all of our help and strength is gone. We feel alone, discouraged and deserted. Ever been there? Sure you have. In fact, some are there right now! Well, like David, when we are dwelling in one of the caves of life, we often fail to see the hand of God in what we are facing. But, I would remind you today that just as surely as God is behind all the blessings of life; He is behind all the burdens as well, Isa. 45:7; Psa. 37:23; Rom. 8:29-29.
This passage contains some blessings that we need to consider today. Here, we can learn something about the cave experiences of life ands how we can come out of them stranger than we entered them. I want to take this episode from the life of David and preach about Climbing Out Of Your Cave. Notice the blessings that are contained in this passage.
The Reality Of Sorrow
David has been brought to the absolute bottom of life! He is hurting, he is broken and he is
defeated. The Crown Prince of Israel is living in a cave! He does not rest his head on a sumptuous bed
in the palace, but on the unyielding rocks of a cave! He no longer sleeps in the bed of the
princess, but he seeks rest in the damp darkness of a forsaken cave. He does not find comfort in the house of a
friend, but he fights loneliness in a deserted, dirty cave. (
(Note: There are times like that
ordained for each of us as well. We
should not expect to get through this life untouched and unaffected by hardship
and sorrow. In fact, the Bible is
perfectly clear about this matter,
B. The Reality Of Suffering God allowed David to come to this cave, as we learned last week, so that David might learn not to lean on the props of family, friends, finances, fame, the flesh or the future. David was taught, through his sufferings, to wholly lean upon the Lord. You see, God was not trying to destroy David. He was not trying to discipline David. God was attempting to develop David in the man of God the Lord wanted him to become.
(Note: The same is true in our
lives. To teach us to look to Him alone,
the Lord uses the hardships of life to develop us. God does not do this to break us; He does it
to build us. However, times of breaking up and
tearing down often come before the times of building up!
C. The Reality Of Separation David has been cut off from his family, his friends and his followers. He is in a place that prevents fellowship with others. David was brought to the place where he had nothing and no one but the Lord God. That cave was a place of separation!
(Note: We often find ourselves in
the caves as well, don’t we? God will
bring us to the place where we are alone with Him and shut off from the rest of
the world. We fear those times, but they
often precede the times of God’s greatest blessings in our lives!
(Note: In reality, the cave times of life can be a blessed time of instruction and growth. You see, we may not like it, and we may not understand it, but when the Lord has brought you to a place where you have no one and nothing but Him, He has done you a tremendous favor. Why? He is more than sufficient; He is more than enough; and He will never leave you, Heb. 13:5. He is a faithful Friend and a very present help in trouble, Psa. 46:1.)
II. v. 1b-4 THE REVELATIONS OF THE CAVE
The Revelation Of His Call
As Davids props began to be taken away, one after the other, he probably
began to doubt the promises that God had made to him so long ago. But, after a
while, people began to show up at Davids cave.
First, his family came; then the defeated and downtrodden men of
(Note: I don’t know how God will
do it, but somehow, while you are in your cave, He will come to where you are
and confirm His faithfulness and His promises to you! God will use your cave as a banner to write
His love over your life!
The Revelation Of His
Character When his family and the malcontents of
(Note: Just as it did in the life
of David, suffering and pain will reveal exactly what we have in our hearts as
well. Take Job for example. He suffered!
Satan said, “Let me squeeze him and I’ll get lemon juice from him. I will prove that what he appears to be on the
outside is all a show. Let me squeeze
him and he will get sour. I will get
lemon juice from Job! So, he
squeezed him and when he did, he did not get lemon juice; he got lemonade! Job did not get sour on the Lord; he just
shouted in the devil’s face and got sweeter,
What comes out of you when you get squeezed? Do you get sour and bitter when trouble comes? Or, do you display integrity and keep on praising the Lord; knowing that He is in control and will work all things out for His glory? Ill. People and how they act! Suffering will expose your heart like few other things can!)
C. The Revelation Of His Commitment In spite of what the circumstances said about David and his situation, David help on to the promises of God, Ill. Psa. 57:1-11. David knew where to go to find refuge in the times of trouble. He did not give up, even when most others would have. He held on to the Lord and the promises of God. He knew that God would come through in His time!
(Note: Oh, that we could display
that kind of commitment in our own hearts and lives. When the pressure is on, don’t turn on the
Lord. Remain committed to Him! He knows what He is doing and He will not
fail you! So, don’t you fail Him! Nothing demonstrates our level of commitment
to God than our continued obedience and faithful service, even when we are in
one of the caves of life! (
III. v. 2 THE REFRESHMENTS OF THE CAVE
A. The Refreshment Of His Family Davids family comes to him in that cave. Here are people who used to doubt David. His own father ignored him, 1 Sam. 16:11. His oldest brother Eliab publicly rebuked David and criticized him, 1 Sam. 17:28. Now, they see in the man before them God’s man and God’s choice for king. The one they formerly would have passed over is the one they turn to for help! It seems that the caves of live have the potential to bring out our best.
(Note: As a Pastor, I have seen many people suffer horrible things. I am always fascinated by how people respond to the pain they are called upon to bear. I have seen some crumple under the load. They have literally fallen apart and sunk down into the pit of self-pity. But, there have been others who, despite the great load of suffering they were forced to carry, rose to the challenge and tapped into a source of strength they did not know they possessed. They were changed by their experience and others were changed by watching them go through it! You see, it is not the storms you weather that define you; it is the way that you weather the storms!)
The Refreshment Of His
Followers These men who gathered themselves around David were there
because they were fed up with Saul. The distressed
came to David. This word means “to be
under stress and under pressure.
We are also told that those who were in debt came. This speaks of those who “could
not pay their bills. The discontented
also came. This word refers to those who
and who have been mistreated.
Here was a group of hundreds of people who have suffered under the
tyranny and taxation of Saul and they are fed up. They go to David because they believe that he
is God’s man for
I am sure that David could not see in his life what they saw. At that time, David could only defeat and discouragement. While David could only see the cave; those who came to him could see the crown. They gathered themselves around him and believed in him, even when he was down!
(Note: Thank God for the
encouragers of life! Thank God for those
people who can see potential in our lives, when we can see nothing good in our
selves? Barnabas was that kind of a friend
God has a way of putting people around us who can serve as encouragers in our lives! I praise the Lord for every one who has looked at my life and seen potential there that I could not recognize. What an encouragement they have been to this preacher!
By the way, there is a great need for that kind of ministry in the church today. There is always someone who stands ready to criticize and cut down; but there are very few who will come along side you during the hard times of your life and lift you up. Maybe God is calling you into that kind of ministry for His glory!)
C. The Refreshment Of His Focus Going through the pain of seeing all his props taken away was a painful experience for David. Having to flee from the palace to hide in a cave was humbling as well. However, in that humble hide away, God began the process of transforming David into a great king. God took that rag tag band of men and, working through David, transformed them into “David’s Mighty Men. These men, and their exploits, are named in 2 Sam. 23. Because God sent these men to David in that cave, David was able to get his mind of his problems and focus his attention on leading them and training them to be a fighting force. It was a humble beginning, but David was focused and soon he would walk out of that cave and accept the crown.
(Note: If there is any one benefit of the cave that stands out, it is the fact that caves have the ability to focus our priorities. When we go into a cave experience, we soon learn what is important and what is trivial. The caves help us focus like nothing else!
If the cave can do that, then it can’t be all bad, can it?
Conc: David entered his cave a broken and defeated man. He emerged as the captain of an army of might men. He went in running from a crazy king. He came out reaching out to take the crown. The cave refined David’s life and helped to prepare him for the tasks that lay ahead. He grew in that cave because he submitted to the cave.
What about you? Are your cave experiences blessings to your life, or are they burdens that seem too heavy to carry? If you need some help dealing with a cave experience in your life, you will find the help you need in the presence of the Lord. Get to Him and get what you need tonight!