Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him. 1 Samuel 22:2 (NASB)
He was on the run while only a step away from death. He had served the king well, yet his life hung in the balance. Even though God favored him, the king wanted him dead. He needed safety and security.
It looked bad, really bad, as King Saul threatened the life of David. A new king waited in the wings and the old king was jealous. Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord and now God rejected him as king of Israel.
The Lord God selected a new king and sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse. When Samuel faced Jesse’s son David, the Lord said to anoint him. As the oil cascaded onto David’s head and down his face, the Spirit of the Lord fell mightily on David.
Even though David waited for his kingship in God’s time, everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. One success followed another. And Saul’s jealousy swelled to murderous hatred. David feared for his life and ran to the protection of a cave.
Oh the wounds David endured—fear of death at the hands of the king, betrayal by his own family, self-inflicted hurts when he disobeyed the Lord. Yet the anointing from the Spirit of the Lord also comforted him. David knew the Lord as Helper, Advocate, Shepherd, Friend. He trusted God and his life bore testimony to God’s faithfulness.
In his neediness, David drew closer to his Heavenly Father. Evidence of a mighty power exuded from his life. His praises rang out to the Lord God of heaven and earth. The proof of power in David’s life drew others to him. Those in distress, in debt, and discontented gathered to him at the cave of Adullam. And David became captain over four hundred men. In the midst of his own cloudy calamity, David met the goodness of God.
David had declared he was only a step away from death, but the Lord God Himself walked every step with him. With praise to his Shepherd, David penned these beautiful words:
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
David experienced life’s distress and discontent. But the Lord dwelt with him and gave him peace. Others who encountered hard times saw the power that surrounded David. They followed his lead while the Lord led him. Even in tough times, they felt the peace of the Lord.
Despair. Distress. Discontent. Are you down in the dumps? Walking a dark valley? Have no fear for the Lord your God is near. Turn to Him and offer Him praise. He stands ready to comfort you and give you peace.
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-27 (NIV)