David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 (NIV)
David was the celebrated giant-slayer. He was sung about in the streets and admired for being so valiant and brave. David was the composer of songs that are both praise-lofty and gut-wrenchingly transparent. Yet, 1 Samuel 22 opens with David in a cave, in a place called Adullam, which means in the original Hebrew, “hiding place.” David is literally hiding
He is hiding from King Saul, who, in a jealous rage, will not rest until David is dead. And there David sits…in a cave.
It's amazing to me what following the path to destiny can sometimes entail. It is interesting to me some of the places and spaces in life that God will put us in. No one would ever think that David, in attempting to obediently follow God, would have to live out this part of the story. David was called from the least in his father’s house and anointed by the prophet to be the next king of the nation of Israel—yet God takes him on an unexpected detour in that journey.
Why? Because David must be taken on the route that best shapes his personality. The route that best conforms him into the image of his Creator. The route that sharpens his gifts and deepens his convictions.
God allows that which will make David confront his deepest fears and release his crippling arrogance. Through his journey, David will know both happy praise and deep pain. He’ll know both victory and painful defeat. David will see the best and the worst of people—and he will have to come to grips with the best and the worst of himself. David must take the route that makes him the best servant for God he can be. And whether we like it or not, that route includes this necessary stop in a cave.
You and I will also have unexpected detours and unwanted stops in our spiritual journey—because God’s endgame for our lives is to shape us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.