1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. 1 Sam 22:1-2
David had a motley crew! You could call them the “3 D’s.” Everyone was in distress, in debt, or discontented. Makes one wonder how David got to this place in life. David had slain a lion and a bear. He was anointed as the next king of Israel. He slew the giant Goliath. Became the king’s son in law, and one of his commanders in the army. Yet the king’s jealously drove him to try and take David’s life, and to David came those who were in distress, in debt, and discontented.
People respond to crisis in different ways:
- Handwringers who talk about the problem to anyone who will listen. “You just won’t believe what I’m going through.”
- Dark worriers who internalize the problem, then grow despondent and depressed. “Life is horrible and then you die.”
- Positive thinkers who prop themselves up with platitudes: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” “God helps those who help themselves.” “It’s not the size of dog in the fight that counts, it’s the size of fight in the dog,” etc.
- Analytical planners who gather the data, calculate the odds, do whatever makes the most sense, then resign themselves to the eventual outcome. “I’ve done all that I can do.”
- People who abandon steps 1 through 4 and run to God like little girls. “Daddy! Daddy! Save me!”
We are reluctant to run to God for different reasons:
- Doubt. “God doesn’t exist and I’ll not demean myself by caving in to that Myth after a lifetime of self-sufficiency.”
- Pride. “I ought to be able to handle this on my own.”
- Religiosity. “God is sovereign. If I suffer, it is because He has willed it.”
- Shame. “I haven’t earned the right to ask God for anything.”
Doubt has never been a problem for me, and I think for the majority of us here as well. How can you not believe there is a god? There are too many proofs of His existence. Pride on the other hand is really not in play, its arrogance. We think we can handle things our way, and prove to ourselves over and over how stupid we really are in not seeking God. Religiosity. I agree with Arthur C. Clarke, who said, “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have both free will and a benevolent higher power who protects you from yourself.” Religiosity is when you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image then it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” Shame. Like you, I’ve never earned the right to run to God like a little girl crying “Daddy, Daddy, Save me.” Certainly not. Instead, I take the position, “Jesus, let’s not make this about how good I am. Let’s make this about how good you are.”
Call me crazy. Call me delusional. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe in a God who likes me and is on my side. And I am no stranger to miracles. Let’s make this about how good God is! An old song says, “God is a good god, every heartache he understands, there is healing power, and there are miracles in the touch of the master’s hand, what he’s done for others he will do for you, if you only believe and trust him too. God is a good god!
The Prophet Gad offers some great advice; 1 Sam. 22: 3-5 goes on to say, “And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. 4 And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. 5 And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth.
David has fallen into bad straights. He is running for his life, and men in distress, men in debt, and men who are discouraged surround him. On top of this he brings his parents into the mess. David had fallen into a deep black hole. Then the man of God shows up! He tells David to get out of this hold that you’re in, and go to Judah. Great advice, because Judah means, “praise.” Remember, God is a good God! Get out of your hole, and get into praise!
When I was a boy we would sing at church, “We’re a happy people, yes we are!” It states why we’re happy: We’ve been baptized in Jesus Name and spoke in tongues when the Holy Ghost came. Why is it that there are people who have this experience never smile?
Why do we have so many complainers in our midst? Praise is an attitude! Praise is what we do! It’s a lifestyle. Praising God in the morning, in the afternoon, all day long. Praising God in the bad times as well as the good. Not allowing our emotions to be determined by our circumstances but rather by our relationship with God! When you wake up in the morning, get your praise on. When you head to work or school, get your praise on. When work or school gets tough, get your praise on. When life disappoints you, get your praise on.
Ps 24:7-8 says, “Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” KJV
Ps 121:1-2 continues this thought, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” KJV
The second verse of ‘I never lost my praise’ written by Kurt Carr says it all:
I’ve let some blessings slip away
When I lost my focus and went astray
But thank God I didn’t lose everything
I lost possessions that were so dear
I lost some battles walking in fear
But in the midst of my struggles, in my season of pain
One thing never wavered, one thing never changed
I never lost my hope,
I never lost my joy
I never lost my faith
But most of all, I never lost my praise
You may be in distress, in debt, or discontented, but if you’ll not stay in your hole and move over to praise, you will see the mighty hand of God in your life! The only thing that will bring you continued sustainable happiness is a life style of praise. Don’t let the devil, your job, your family, or anything else rob you of your praise! Get your praise on, and let’s spend some time praising the Lord!