I’m here on Day 3 of the Proverbs 31 John Study in Israel and I’m SO EXCITED for what I have to share with you today!
Before we begin, I invite you to read Psalm 57. Make note of the introduction to this Psalm at the top of the passage. You can read in your Bible or click here.
When David wrote this, he was hiding in a cave from Saul.
Here’s a brief history leading up to Psalm 57:
From Bible.org: When he was a teenager, David had been anointed as king to replace the disobedient King Saul. Then he slew the giant Goliath and was thrust into instant national fame. But King Saul’s jealous rage sent David running for his life. He spent the better part of his twenties dodging Saul’s repeated attempts on his life.
1 Samuel 22:1-2 (NIV)
“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.”
Are you following me so far? David was hiding from Saul, along with 400 other “distressed or discontented” people in the cave of Adullam. It is here that he became a leader and friend to them. It is here that they began to trust him. It is here that David began his ministry.
Today, near the border of Israel and Palestine, our group of 13, hiked up the mountain to this cave. It’s not a marked place, not a tourist attraction like many of the other Holy Land sites.
The entrance (see picture above) was small and the cave was dark, but because our leader, Arie, had been there many times, we felt safe. (Even though there was a hyena inside. Yes you read that right. He scurried off thankfully.) Once inside, Arie reminded us of the story of David and this cave from 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 57.
As we read I couldn’t help but get a little choked up thinking about David and the 400 distressed and fearful people holed up in there hoping Saul wouldn’t find them. I imagined them in this cave that I was now sitting in. I was reminded of David, with his many mess ups and mistakes in life. David, who wrote many times of his own insecurities and God’s greatness. David, a great king and leader. David, a man after God’s own heart.
Look at Psalm 57 again and notice in the first 4 verses, David is filled with pleas and cries to God. He’s reminding himself of God’s mercy, purpose, love, and faithfulness. It’s almost as though he needs reminding, possibly because he’s very afraid. Then something changes. It’s as if he takes his eyes off of his fear and circumstances and turns them towards God, the One he loves and trusts. He begins to praise Him beginning in verse 5 and continues his song through the end of the Psalm.
As we finished reading Psalm 57, our group began to sing beautiful praises to God. “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…”
Something to Think About
In Psalm 57:1-4, it’s clear that David was distressed and in need as he cried out to the Lord. Then, he remembered. His cries for help turned to songs of praise. I love David because he is so like us and we get to see that. How many times have you cried out to God when what you really needed was to sing songs or prayers of praise?
Ok, so that’s Day 3! Thanks for joining me during my time in Israel. I hope that somehow what God is placing on my heart to write is something that He can use to stir up something good in your heart as well!
***Side Note: Arie, a Jewish Believer & our teacher and leader this week, led us up to the cave. I will tell you more about Arie in another post. For now just let me say, his teaching of the Bible is extremely thorough, weaving Israeli historical facts with Biblical facts to explain the wonders of the Bible I formerly just took for granted. I feel like I’ve missed so much when reading and studying my Bible … up til now.