“David escaped to the Cave of Adullam…where…all…down on their luck came.” 1 Samuel 22:1-2 The Message Bible
David didn’t choose wilderness living, he had nowhere else to go when Saul isolated him from his family, ended his military career and banned him from the palace. The wilderness experience starts out with feelings of disconnection and isolation, and usually gets worse before it gets better.
Hoping to form an alliance with the Philistines in Goliath’s hometown, David went to Gath. After all, when Saul’s your mutual enemy you naturally become friends, right? Wrong! The Philistines wanted nothing to do with David. So with yet another door closed, he escaped to the cave of Adullam where he turned back to God. There he became a magnet for “…those who were in distress or in debt or discontented…” (1 Samuel 22:2 New International Version). The Bible says, “…they came to David day by day to help him, until it was a great army, like the army of God.” (1 Chronicles 12:22 New King James Version). Not exactly your ideal congregation is it?!
Now the name Adullam means, A place of Refuge! And Jesus said, “…It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 New International Version). Don’t be fooled, strong churches are built from people who were once “…in distress or in debt or discontented…”
Do you remember being there? I know you’ve moved up and now you wear the shoes that match the pocketbook, and the jewelry to bring out the rhinestone patterns in your suit. I understand that now you’ve moved from the pew to the pulpit, left the laity for leadership and the brother, sister greeting for the Minister, Elder, Bishop title. But can your memory span back to when Paul said, “Take a good look…at who you were when you got called…I don’t see many of ‘the brightest and the best’…not many influential, not many from high-society families…God deliberately chose men and women…the culture overlooks…exploits and abuses, chose these ‘nobodies’ to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28 The Message Bible). Do you remember being there? When you were apart of the “Church of Adullam?”
Although he was raised in a good home, Whit Criswell got hooked on gambling and ended up embezzling from the bank where he worked. When the auditors found out, he decided to end his life. He wrote a suicide note, drove to the outskirts of town, parked his car and put a gun to his head, saying, “Go ahead, you no-good slob, it’s what you deserve.” But he couldn’t do it. So at dawn he returned home where police arrested him. He felt humiliated being handcuffed in front of his friends and family. But he was also liberated, because he no longer had to live a lie. Criswell’s prison cell became his “Cave of Adullam,” the place where he turned back to God. When he was released he joined a church doing odd jobs, and eventually became a staff member. In 1998 another church asked him to be their senior pastor, and today it’s one of Kentucky’s fastest growing congregations. Just another cave dweller “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,” by the amazing grace of God! “Don’t Under-Estimate the Church of Adullam” Some of the Greatest Callings Come Out of the Cave!
The introduction to Psalm 57 describes it as “A song of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.” In the first verse he says, “Be merciful to me, O God…my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” (New King James Version).
Listen, I know life can be tough, and that it’s never one thing, but always one thing right after another. But instead of wandering alone in the wilderness, come and find what you need at the “Church of Adullam.” Go to that place (that cave) where it’s just you and God, refocus on Him and Him alone. Seek His face, ask for His Wisdom and Direction. As you rest in His presence, you’ll be revived, restored, replenished, rejuvenated, and redirected. And you’ll know when it’s happened, because the most ‘unlikely’ of folks will be standing by the cave door waiting for you to give the orders for the next battle! And don’t look for them in suits and ties, and crocodile shoes. They won’t have French rolls and French tips. Many of them will be folks you don’t even know. Nevertheless, when the Church of Adullam appears at the opening of your cave, know you’re on your way out!
So glad to hear all of the testimonials from the “Overcome Unforgiveness” Series! Thank you for sharing, it encouraged my heart greatly! Much Love to You All For the Restoration You’ve Received!
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