Lord use my time in the cave to point to the goodness of God.
I hate caves. I hate the darkness. I hate the closed in feeling of being trapped with no escape. It's a nightmare for me to be hindered in my movement by a force out of my control - the claustrophobic feeling of something, seen or unseen, limiting my ability to move.
But with the events going on today, I feel as if I've now walked into my own cave.
I Samuel 22 tells us about David escaping to the cave of Adullam, which meant refuge. He was on the run from Saul - who was trying to kill him. I Samuel 22: 3 tells us that he was desperate for a word from God and was in great distress about the danger around him. After taking the time to care for his parents - taking them to the King of Moab and asking for his watch over them, he retreated to the cave outside of the city of Adullam.
This was not David's only time in a cave, having also spent time in the caves of Ein Gedi. It was in the cave of Ein Gedi (I Samuel 24) that Saul wandered in where David was hiding and David spared his life, only cutting off the edge of Saul's garment.
David ran into the shelter of the caves at his lowest points. He sought the refuge and the protection of the darkness, seeking God's face and wisdom. I Samuel 22: 3 says that he went to the cave of Abullam so that he could learn what God would do for him. David, may have had his weaknesses but he knew where to go for his strength and wisdom; he knew who to put his trust in. He cried out to God because He knew that God had a plan for him.
In my cave today, I'm at a loss for words. I'm overwhelmed at the magnitude of what we are facing and sometimes find myself kneeling before God speechless. I have no words. I don't even know where to begin.
Psalm 142 is David's cry from the cave, it's David's prayer. This psalm is considered to be a maskil or maschil which means to make wise or something that emparts wisdom. It was written for that purpose - as a model of how to pray in a time of trouble, when you have no hope. David knew that God wasn't finished with Him yet but didn't know what to do next because he was tired and at a loss. Charles Spurgeon said that this Psalm, "teaches us principally by example how to order our prayer in times of distress."
So, here is my interpretation - the way God speaks and teaches me through this seven verse prayer:
Verses 1-2: I cry aloud to the Lord. I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him, before Him I tell my trouble.
David's cry to the Lord, his plea for mercy from God, who is his only help. These are transparent, honest words to God telling Him all that is in his heart- his fears and his worries. David poured himself out - everything that was within him, holding nothing back.
Verses 3-4: When my spirit grows faint within me. It is You who know my way, in the path where I walk, men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; noone is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
David continues by telling God how alone that he feels - he looks around and there is noone who cares for his life. He's desperate. 'God I'm emotionally drained and losing strength but You know where I am, You see me but I am in grave danger and noone cares.'
Verse 5 - I cry to you. O Lord: I say, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
God you are my only hope - I have come to you for rest and for my strength. You have all that I need to sustain me emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Verse 6: Listen to my cry for I am in desperate need, rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
God please rescue me because they are too strong and I am going to die. Please listen to me. If you do not hear me and do something, I will not make it.
Verse 7: Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
I want to share what God has done for me and praise Your name so that You will receive all the glory and others may believe. I want to be a witness for the miraculous things that You are going to do for me - please work a miracle in my life and I'll give You the glory.
Now, there is nothing more powerful than a believer on their knees crying out to God. Overwhelmed or not.
Satan knows it and one of his tactics is to shut us up. It puts a thrill in his heart and a smirk on his face for a believer to become overwhelmed, become silent and to stop praying.
But Satan.... that's not gonna work.
God knows the cry of our heart even though we have no words to speak. God gave us a model to use when we are in distress and I want to learn from the wisdom in David's prayer. From the prayers in the cave can flow power and miracles that God can use to bring life to those around us. Look at the photo of the caves in Ein Gedi. Out of the caves flow rivers of fresh, clean, water that nourishes the harsh desert landscape around it. Out of our darkness can flow nourishment and wisdom - God using our own words and actions to point others around us to the life that God gives them from the darkness.
Lord use our cave prayer so that others may see Your goodness.
My prayer today is:
Father God we come to you, our refuge and strength in times of trouble seeking what you will do for us, just as David did. We use the wisdom You have outlined in Your word to help us when we have no words to speak. It's overwhelming and we don't know where to begin. Our world is in grave distress, people are hopeless and in great danger - we are growing weary. You see us - you know where we are and You are our only hope. Listen to our cries because we have no hope outside of You. Do a miracle in our lives and in our world so that others may see the goodness of God and believe.
We adore You. Amen.