David was no stranger to adversity. He knew it well. For some specifics check out Part 1 of this series.
So, how did David hang in there? How did he make it? Two ways really. First, David made good decisions, and second,God supplied what he needed to get him through. The awesome thing is He can do it for us too!
- David had a friend
If a man has friends he is blessed. David had one good friend who was there to help him. Ironically, it was Jonathan Saul’s son. Jonathan must have known early on that David would take what could have been his. This could have been a great source of contention, this could have made the two enemies, but the Bible tells us that they were friends.
And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:1
So, do you have friends in your life? No doubt, friends like Jonathan are hard to come by. If the answer is no, start by being a friend. Proverbs 18:24 – “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Look for those around you who need a friend and when the adversity comes, you’ll have one!
- David was a friend
In a moment of great stress David fled from Israel to king Achish of Gath. (1 Samuel 21) It’s amazing what adversity can make us do. Gath was the home town of Goliath. David was certainly a well known person there, and feared by many. The king was nervous to have David in his town and somehow let David know it. To escape from there David made the people think he was crazy! Suffice it to say they were glad to see him leave. But where to go now?
David ran to a cave called Adullam. I’m sure he was feeling lower than low, and while it may have seemed bleak God was still at work. Whether David knew it or not he had developed quite a following with the less desirable part of the Israelite society. The Bible tells us that all the distressed, debtors, and discontented gathered themselves to David at the cave. Most likely David didn’t feel like looking after a band of men such as that, yet he did not turn them away. Instead he reaches out to them, and it’s at this point in his life that God leads him to write Psalm 34. In this Psalm he encourages these 400 men to praise God and trust in the Lord. He says to them,
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. Psalms 34:3
The remarkable thing is that these men stuck with David through it all and many or maybe all became David’s Mighty Men!
- David took responsibility.
I think at times of adversity and great stress it’s easy to say, “Look what’s going on in my life, I can’t do this anymore!” No matter what “this” is there are things we must continue. There are positions we cannot vacate. We still need to be a friend. We need to keep going to work or school. We need to keep our relationships open and right. Don’t shut down. Keep going. I’m sure the last thing David needed in his life was one more person to take care of, but when a young priest named Abiathar came to him in 1 Samuel 22 he didn’t shirk his responsibility.
Earlier in the narrative David needed something to eat, and a weapon. He had gone to the Abiathar’s father, Ahimelech, for help. This man of God helped David, but it cost him his life. King Saul had become so vengeful that he killed 25 of the Lord’s priests including Ahimelech. This was certainly not David’s fault. He couldn’t be blamed for this tragedy. Yet he took full responsibility by accepting this young man into his care and protection. He tells Abiathar,
…I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father’s house. Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard. 1 Sam 22:22-23
Obviously, David took the position God put him in very seriously. You know, I think he might make a great king!
Please check back for the conclusion of this series. Thanks for reading!