See 1 Sam. 18-22 – Saul became insanely jealous of David and tried to kill him. He even used his daughter Michal as part of his plan to end David’s life. Later on he ordered the death of 85 priests and his henchman Doeg went on to murder all the men, women, children, infants and livestock in the town of Nob for helping David escape from Saul. The inhumanity of humanity. Saul became a Saddam Hussein

God pulls out all the props from David. Remember David is only about 20 years old at this point. He loses 1) his job and the fame that went with it as a victorious warrior and army commander; 2) his new wife – as a newly wed he has to leave his bride that loved him very much; 3) his family; 4) his godly mentor, Samuel; 5) his best friend Jonathan; 6) his home – food, shelter and comfort and, 7) even his integrity as he schemes, lies and feigns insanity to try to save his life. David hit “rock” bottom and he ended up in the cave of Adullam.

You’ll only know if God is all you need when He is all you have. And David found Him to be more than sufficient as he comes to know God in new and deeper ways through these very deep trials – “my Strength, my Shield, my Fortress, my High Tower, my Mighty Rock, my Refuge” as we see in the many psalms David wrote during this ten year trial.

God knew David needed a long season of trials and suffering in order to be prepared to become Israel’s greatest king. Yes David knew the Lord intimately as his Shepherd as he drew close to Him on the lonely hills of Judea as shepherd boy and even as “The Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel” as he slew Goliath. But it is another thing to know God in a lonely cave all by yourself while your enemy seeks to kill you. Thus we hear David’s prayer of desperation:


Psalm 142 A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.


I cry aloud to the LORD ; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk, men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” (Also see Psalms 34, 57, 59)

The Lord heard David’s cries for help and answered him by sending his father, mother and even his brothers who at one time didn’t think well of him. Along with them God sends 400 malcontents – some of the men who were fed up with Saul’s leadership but also had other problems: they were “in distress or in debt or discontented” and David had yet another challenge – to whip these men into an army (which he did) and they became “David’s Mighty Men.” (1 Chron. 11:10)

“In distress, in debt or discontent” is when many of us came, not to king David, but to the King of kings – Jesus Christ and He paid our sin debt, takes our stress (Matt 11:28-30) and turns our “mourning into dancing” (Psalm 30:11 – yet another psalm by David)

David has good advice for us that he learned the hard way: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)

Yes and the Lord knew that these psalms and prayers of great desperation would help and comfort us hundreds of years later as we identify with David’s heart of anguish. Yet, like David, we can put our trust in the same Living God that was there for him. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)


God pulls out all the props from David. What props has the Lord pulled out from under you; financial security, success at work, the loss of a good friend, betrayal of a wife, a prodigal, poor health??? What or who did you lean on (or are you leaning on) in your losses other than the Lord Himself?

You’ll only know if God is all you need when He is all you have. Have you found Jesus’ promise to be true in your trials? “ But he (Jesus) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10) Discuss your answer.

Where are you tempted to compromise your integrity to save your neck?

Do you find it difficult to cry aloud to the Lord in your trials? Why or why not?

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25) It is in doing God’s Word, not in just hearing it, that we are blessed. What action will you take to apply these truths to your life?

Scripture memory verse: “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.” (Psalm 142:1,2)

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