In 1st Samuel 22, we find David taking refuge in the stronghold or cave of Adullam. Although we may not have recognized its name, many of us have visited that very cave.
Just a few chapters back David was contented with being a shepherd when Samuel showed up and anointed him king of Israel. He was just running an errand for his dad when the whole Goliath thing happened. He was a hero, the subject of songs, he had rank, position and a seat at the kings table. He had a great friend in the kings son and married the kings daughter who loved him. One day it all changed. He had to leave his wife, friend, home, job and position all behind. He was now being hunted and fled taking nothing with him. He sacrificed whatever remained of his pride by pretending to be insane so he could escape from Gath, the home of Goliath. He asked the priest of Nob for assistance. Now he learns that like Jonah others have suffered the storm because of their association with him. The priest from Nob, his family and everyone from his town was put to the sword. It was probably about this time that David learns his wife has been given to another man (25:44). While he would have most likely preferred to remain hidden his family, “all those who were in distress, or in debt, or discontented” 400 in all showed looking for a leader. Not your typical leadership conference. It is places like Adullam that separate from the gold of leadership from the dross. David needed time to transition from the role of shepherd to the role of king. It was at Adullam that he became familiar with the true weight of the mantle of leadership. Many desire the prestige and privilege of rank but few learn to wear the mantle of leadership with grace. David was learning how to lead from a position of shared vision and shared reward.
Despite the security of the stronghold when the prophet of Gad said it was time to go to Judah they moved on. Many of you will recognize that Judah is another word for praise. Not everyone is able to leave the stronghold behind and move forward towards to unknown calling of God. To be effective we must look beyond our circumstances and to his provision. We must stop focusing on what we lack and start seeing what he has given us. There is nothing wrong about God sitting us on the shelf. Sometimes it is to refresh us or to allow us to mature and develop the skills necessary for the next mission. Just don’t start feeling like Adullam is home. Although the objective may be beyond the perception of these eyes of flesh it is not beyond the vision of our eyes of faith.