View from the Cave

I pulled out an old message and preached it to myself this morning. I am in between churches and waiting on the Lord, and I really needed this word today. I pray it will be encouraging to you, too.

                        View from the Cave (1 Samuel 22:1-5)

One of the things we learn from Scripture, as well as from life experience, is that God’s timetable is usually different from ours. We want things to happen, and we want them to happen now. But God is often more interested in what we are doing and learning in the meantime.

There is a pattern we see repeated in Scripture where God gives someone a promise, a vision or a task, but he then delays in fulfilling it, at least according to our timetable. For example, God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but then they waited years for Isaac to be born. When Moses tried to stand up for his people in Egypt, he ended up tending sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. God gave Joseph prophetic dreams about ruling even over the members of his own family. But then Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he spent years in prison before the dream was eventually fulfilled.

Something similar happened to David. God had promised David great things. He had David anointed as the future king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:13), and everything seemed to be unfolding according to plan. David was brought into King Saul’s service. (16:21) He defeated Goliath, the great Philistine warrior. (17) He forged a friendship with Saul’s son Jonathan. (18:1-4) Saul gave David a high rank in the army. (18:5) We are told the Lord was with him in everything he did (18:14), and that all the people of Israel and Judah loved him. (18:16). David had even married the king’s daughter, Michal. (18:27) Everything was falling into place for him to become the next king of Israel.

But then suddenly everything ground to a halt. Saul grew jealous of David’s successes and determined to kill him, and David found himself running for his life. He was a fugitive – hiding from Saul and his soldiers, sneaking food and weapons from the priests at Nob (21:1-9), even having to act like a madman in the land of Gath in order to save his life. (21:10-15) And that brings us to our text this morning in 1 Samuel 22. All of God’s promises had been put on hold, and David was now hiding out in the cave at Adullam.

So what do you do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, the way God seemed to be leading? What do you do when you suddenly find yourself in the cave instead of the palace? How do you deal with God’s delays in life? (Click here to continue reading.)


  1. Great message! Many times I myself have been surprisingly, but strongly, encouraged by messages I wrote many years ago. I am glad you dusted this sermon off to speak to you. God’s word is always active! Blessings on you as you climb out the cave and God places you on the mount … or at least on the plain where the sun shines.

  2. Margaret says:

    I can only repeat what you wrote on the previous blog entry. “Today I have God, and that is enough.” A good thing for all of us to remember when we are viewing life from the cave.

    God bless you Ray and your family, and know that you are all very much loved and in our prayers.

  3. Sharon Gamble says:

    God’s delays are not God’s denials. Good words to remember, Ray. I am passing this along to several friends who need the encouragement today. Thanks for putting it into words so well.

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