“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. 2 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. 3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” 4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold. 5 But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.” 1 Samuel 22.1-5
David was no minor figure in Israel. His fame was great and was spreading across the land. He was popular with those who were “in distress or in debt or discontented.” When word came out that David had escaped to the cave of Adullam, a large number of people came to him including his brothers and his father’s household, with their wives and children. When it was all said and done four hundred fighting men were with him. This is no small force.
David knew he was going to be on the run and possibly in battle so he asks the king of Moab if his father and mother could stay there in safety until he could learn what God was going to do for him. His parents stay in Moab but the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So the text tells us “David left and went into the forest of Hereth.”
Now David was in an interesting situation. God was with him, that was evident. He and his fathers and brothers all remember when the prophet Samuel came and anointed David. Then they witnessed his defeat of Goliath and his sudden rise to fame and success in battle. They knew something was special about this son. But he couldn’t return to Saul for fear of his life. So the people came to him and David still sought the Lord’s favor while waiting not in a secure fortress but in the land God promised his people.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a holding pattern as well. We know God has great things in store for all his people, but it has yet to be revealed. And we wonder where to go and what we should be doing in the mean time. David did not dishonor the Lord or King Saul in his waiting. He waited patiently to see “what God would do” for him.
So what does waiting look like for us? How can we find contentment in waiting upon the Lord and watching for his hand to move? How can we trust him in the “in between times” when his promises have been spoken but not yet fulfilled? We do like David did and wait patiently, getting our affairs in order, for God’s next assignment.
Trust. Hope. Pray. Wait for what the Lord will do next.
“O Lord God, you are good. I trust you with my life. I love you more and more each day. I am grateful for your promises for they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness! Come now, Holy Spirit, blow a fresh wind upon me. Help me remain close to your care and in your will. Regardless of what life brings, I trust you completely. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen