Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

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a teetering trust — July 6, 2022

a teetering trust

If I were Amish, I would be afraid to water ski.  My horse might drown! 

David, on the other hand, feared nothing.   He proved it in the Valley of Elah! 

This valley was the site in Israel where David defied Goliath.  It is a pleasant verdant vale when there wasn’t a war going on. 

Who doesn’t know and cherish the story of the boy with audacious courage?  He confronted the giant saying “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin. But I am coming against you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel’s armies, whom you have defied! This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand. I will strike you down and cut off your head.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-46

With a sling and stone, he succeeded.  This victory became the subject of song and celebration for many years to come in the nation of Israel.  Surely, he never forgot that day – and yet it seems that he did.

Fifteen years later David was being pursued by murderous King Saul.  David had attracted a band of discontents who were loyal to him.  They were a threat that Saul wanted to eliminate.   

But the band of fugitives, managed to keep one step ahead of Saul and his army.  They finally found refuge in a place known as the Cave of Adullam. 

This cave is essentially a big hill, towering about 500 feet over a very flat plain.  It is a limestone formation that was eroded over time so that it had become a honeycomb of caves – one of which could contain 300 people at one time.   A perfect hiding place for David’s band.

But why were they there? 

David was evidently afraid!  Saul had tried to use him as a pin cushion with a spear and had led his army on a seek-and-destroy mission against him (1 Samuel 19:1).  David had been on the run for some time. And so we read, “David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam.”  – 1 Samuel 22:1

But how ironic!

In the valley of Elah David ran to the battle – at Adullam he hid from it.  At Elah he removed the protective armor that the King had given him – at Adullam he covered himself with a rock fortress.  At Elah his only weapon was a sling, but at Adullam he was armed with the sword of defeat once wielded by Goliath. 

The valiant crusader had become a fearful fugitive.  It was a crisis of faith.

But, the story takes an even darker turn.  The cave of Adullam sat on the rim of the valley of Elah.   From that elevated perch David would have had an unobstructed view of the brook from where he took the 5 smooth stones. 

He could see the very place where he stood toe-to-toe against Goliath.  He could look upon the meadow where the ginormous Philistine lay dead. 

David could see all of this from the murky cave in which he hid from King Saul. 

Insanely courageous and full of faith at one moment and blinded by fear in the next.  A reminder to us that living by faith is a daily challenge.  Faith is not a one time proposition.  It will be repeatedly tested and must be renewed daily.

Hey these are fearful days.  Are they not?  Will we meet the challenge as did the fearless boy, or the feckless man? 

May David forgive me for using his own words to challenge him and us as well.  “Throw your burden upon the Lord,  and he will sustain you. He will never allow the godly to be shaken….but as for me, I trust in You.”  – Psalm 55:22-23

A PRAYER: Lord my faith needs a daily infusion.  I will look to You to supply it? 

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Scriptures passages are from the NET Bible ®

Picture by David bena at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47491712

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