Remember in last weeks study that David was in desperation, so desperate in fact, that he fled to Achish, a city of the Philistines. God was with David, and after being arrested he was released. David now escaped to a cave near Adullam. Adullam was a town in the lower hills of Judah about 12 miles west of Gath. His brothers and family by this time were fearful for David’s life and they joined up with David there (I Sam.22:1).
Not only did his family come, but also a wild group of misfits, social outcast, and debtors on the run. There were about 400 of them that looked to David as their captain. Actually, it may have been just as easy to rule the whole country as this rag-tag bunch of ruffians (vs.2).
David’s parents were now up in years and he was making arrangements for them (vs.3-4). You can just imagine being up in years and having to flee for your life because of your son. David felt the responsibility of caring for their needs so he went to the king of Moab and asked if his parents could have a safe haven there. I like the way in Vs.3b that David said “until I know what God will do for me”. I’m sure that he felt a relief when he was granted permission by the king of Moab. An enemy king grants David safety, but his own king and father-in-law won’t. You can just imagine how David must have felt.
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why the king of Moab may have granted safety for them. It may be that he knew that David’s great-grandmother Ruth was a Moabitess. This may not have entered into the reasoning at all but it couldn’t have hurt.
The text is not dogmatic on the fact that his Moab connection helped with David, but it does indicate that it may have helped in the case of David’s parents. I think this makes the book of Ruth and the events recorded in it very important. Does it show us that all of the trials of Naomi were for a reason? On the death of her husband and sons? On her facing almost certain poverty and being destitute? On her one daughter-in laws faith and insistence of going wherever she went? And of all of the “circumstances” that brought about Boaz being attracted to Ruth? I believe that all of these events occurred so that David and his family could gain safety in Moab. Naomi could never have had a clue that her sufferings and trials would bring such fruit to one of her descendants over 100 years later.
Aren’t the Word of God, and the ways of God fabulous? In the case of David all of the arrangements that he needed made had been put in place over 100 years before. God plans his kindnesses to us well before we even know that we will need them. The Lord God brought about these events with David to bring him some relief from the tremendous distress he had been under. This wasn’t something that David had anything to do with, but was a gift from the Lord God of Heaven.
The wonderful thing about this narrative is that it isn’t for just certain kings. This is also true for all of us. It is no accident that ALL of the events of our lives have occurred for a reason. Every single one. Our God, in His providential way, has been working for you and me in the very same way. What comfort it is to know that God is always working on the behalf of His people.
Now let’s wrap it up with verse 5. “Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.
Do you remember David’s words to the king of Moab? “And he said to the king of Moab, Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me” (vs.3). David was waiting on direction from The Lord God before he made another move. In vs.5 David now has that word from the Lord. He received this word from one of God’s prophets, Gad. Now this is significant because Saul did not have this privilege of receiving direction from God. The Spirit had departed from him. He was a man on his own. But David had guidance shining upon him through the words of the prophet.
Desperation is no fun, but desperation and silence would be almost unbearable. The slimy pit that David speaks of in Ps.40 is not nearly so bad if he can hear the Shepherd’s voice and know that He is near. David heard that voice directly through a prophet, but God’s people today hear that voice through His Word. God’s troubled people can rejoice that through all of the trials that we endure we have hope.
Our hope doesn’t come to us with the sound of trumpets, but it comes to us quietly through the Scriptures. God has taught us a lot through His servant David. God’s help came to him quietly and hardly noticeable: five loaves of bread; on the back side of Gath as he is leaving town; a great-grandmother who was a Moabitess; a prophet giving him God’s orders. These aren’t what we would say are signs of strength. But David had the strength of Almighty God Himself. He knew from whence his strength came. Do you???