David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave of Adullam.
I. DAVID'S ESCAPE TO THE CAVE OF ADULLAM.
1. It was a place of perfect safety.
2. It was a place of comparative seclusion. David needed rest and quiet. The tremendous excitement through which he had passed had exhausted both body and mind.
3. It was a place of earnest supplication. If David sinned at Nob, he sincerely repented at Adullam. David sought for forgiveness for his sin. David sought protection from his enemies. David sought deliverance from his prison. There is a cave of Adullam in every life. Doubt may be such a cave. Persecution may be such a cave. Sickness may be such a cave. Bereavement may be such a cave. There is no cave deep and dark enough to shut out God.
II. DAVID'S ASSOCIATES IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM. Notice three things respecting David's followers:
1. It was an affectionate association. In time of trouble God will raise up friends to comfort His believing children.
2. It was a mixed association.
3. It was a faithful association. These men proved both their courage and constancy. When David longed for water from Bethlehem they imperilled their lives to gratify his desire. David's experience agrees in some points with Christ's. David was concealed in a cave, Christ was laid in a manger. David was an outlaw, Christ was despised and rejected of men. David was sustained by men in distress, Christ selected for His disciples men who were poor and unknown. David was made a captain over four hundred, Christ is the Captain and Saviour of all who are in distress. If any man is weary of Satan's service, he may become a soldier of the cross.
III. DAVID'S THOUGHTFULNESS IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM. David was therefore deeply concerned for their safety, and his ardent attachment manifested itself in three ways:
1. By his dangerous journey to promote the comfort of his parents. "David went thence to Moab." This was not a long journey, but it was difficult, to accomplish.
2. By his earnest intercession to obtain protection for his parents.
3. By his special endeavour to secure respect for his parents. "He brought them before the king:" This was a prudent introduction. "And they dwelt with him": This was gracious reception. "All the while that David was in the hold:" This was generous hospitality. We cannot too highly commend David's devotion to his parents. He was willing to sacrifice his life and liberty for their safety.
IV. DAVID'S DEPARTURE FROM THE CAVE OF ADULLAM. We may learn three things from David's departure from the cave of Adullam.
1. Good men receive timely direction from God. "Abide not in the hold." God will not disappoint those who wait for his guidance. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
2. Good men receive minute direction from God. "Get thee into the land of Judah." All the agencies of life — seen and unseen — known and unknown — are regulated by God.
3. Good men promptly obey the direction of God. "Then David departed." Whether God call us to serve or suffer, we must cheerfully obey. We dare not resist, the leadings of Divine providence. There is a time coming when we must all depart.
(J. T. Woodhouse.)
And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him.
(E. J. Hardy, M. A.)
And the prophet Gad said unto David.I. THE VISIT OF GAD THE SEER. David had been brought very low through his own mistakes. God proved him in the hold. Then He sent to him. Wherever you are, wait for a message from God before you move,
II. SAUL'S APPEAL TO HIS SERVANTS. No one answered it but the alien Doeg. Notice, Herod was an Edomite. The race always conspicuous for hatred to Israel. What circumspection is necessary in God's children! Always a Doeg looking on! (Exodus 23:13; 1 Peter 2:12, 15, 16.) False witness, often nearly true. "A lie that is half a truth is ever the worst of lies" (Mark 14:55-59; Matthew 26:61). Built on supposition (Acts 21:27-29).
IV. SECURITY WITH DAVID (verse 23). This was beautiful faith. The outcast promising protection because the Lord was with him. He was willing to protect him with his life. So was Jesus. He was not only willing, but He did it (1 John 3:8, 16).
(R. E. Faulkner.)
And Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David.
I. IT WAS A LIFE OFTEN UP IN DEFENCE OF THE KING'S BETTER NATURE AGAINST HIS WORSE NATURE. He aimed to rescue Saul from Saul. It is as if he had said, "Why do you so unking yourself as to injure a man who would not injure you? David is your friend. Jealousy demeans you. Jealousy and not David is your real foe."
II. AGAIN, IT WAS A LIFE GIVEN UP IN DEFENCE OF AHIMELECH'S OWN BETTER NATURE AGAINST HIS LOWER NATURE. Doubtless this high priestly life was of value to him who had it. But he made no plea foe it. He pleaded only for the life of the outcast and fugitive.
III. IT WAS A LIFE GIVEN UP IN DEFENCE OF THE INNOCENT FUGITIVE. Ahimelech, friend of the king, dared to defend the outcast David.
IV. NOW CONSIDER THAT THIS DEFENCE — THREE FOLD — IS WORTH WHATEVER IT COSTS. The defence of my neighbour's better nature against his worse nature; of my own better nature against my worse nature, and of Christ against the world, is worth whatever it may cost. First, because a man's soul, or immortal nature, is of more value to him than any imaginable physical safety or comfort. Second, because my neighbour's better nature is of more value to the world and to me, than anything else I can give to the world, or the world can give me. This world has enough of everything but goodness. It does not need that I give it anything, unless I can give it goodness. Let me help a man to conquer himself and I am a philanthropist. Third, it is worth all it costs because, in defending the outcast against the king, we may be defending the king against the outcast. In the councils of heaven Saul the king is the outcast and David the outcast is the king. This striking reversal of the real and the apparent is one of the most ordinary of processes when heaven looks at earth. Things are not what they seem. However little the evidence of it, Righteousness is the one true monarch over men.
(Edward Braislin, D. D.).