The Invitation & Fellowship of the Cave

Today’s selected reading continues in and concludes the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms which is and which was a compilation of prayers, petitions and praise contained within a collection of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters one-hundred and forty-two through one-hundred and fifty of this Old Testament book. I CRIED! I CRIED UNTO THE LORD! I CRIED UNTO THE LORD WITH MY VOICE! WITH MY VOICE UNTO THE LORD DID I MAKE MY SUPPLICATION! I POURED OUT MY COMPLAINT BEFORE HIM! I SHEWED BEFORE HIM MY TROUBLE! WHEN MY SPIRIT WAS OVERWHELMED WITHIN ME! THOU KNEWEST MY PATH! I LOOKED ON MY RIGHT HAND, AND BEHELD, BUT THERE WAS NO MAN THAT WOULD KNOW ME! REFUGE FAILED ME! NO MAN CARED FOR MY SOUL! I CRIED! I CRIED UNTO THEE, O LORD! THOU ART MY REFUGE! MY PORTION IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING! ATTEND UNTO MY CRY! I AM BROUGHT VERY LOW! DELIVER ME…FOR THEY ARE STRONGER THAN I! BRING MY SOUL OUT OF PRISON THAT I MAY PRAISE THY NAME! FROM THE CRY TO THE SONG! FROM CRYING TO SINGING!

HEAR MY PRAYER, O LORD! GIVE EAR TO MY SUPPLICATION! IN THY FAITHFULNESS ANSWER ME! IN THE SIGHT SHALL NOT MAN LIVING BE JUSTIFIED! THE ENEMY HATH PERSECUTED MY SOUL! HE HATH SMITTEN MY LIFE DOWN TO THE GROUND! HE HATH MADE ME TO DWELL IN DARKNESS! MY SPIRIT IS OVERWHELMED WITHIN ME! MY HEART WITHIN ME IS DESOLATE! I REMEMBER! I REMEMBER THE DAYS OF OLD! I MEDITATE ON ALL THY WORKS! I MUSE ON THE WORK OF THY HANDS! I STRETCH FORTH MY HANDS UNTO THEE! MY SOUL THIRSTETH AFTER THEE, AS A THIRSTY LAND! HEAR ME SPEEDILY, O LORD! MY SPIRIT FAILETH! HIDE NOT THY FACE FROM ME! CAUSE ME TO HEAR THY LOVINGKINDNESS IN THE MORNING! IN THEE DO I TRUST! CAUSE ME TO KNOW THE WAY WHEREIN I SHOULD WALK! I LIFT UP MY SOUL UNTO THEE! I FLEE UNTO THEE TO HIDE ME! TEACH ME TO DO THY WILL; FOR THOU ART MY GOD! THY SPIRIT IS GOOD! LEAD ME INTO THE LAND OF UPRIGHTNESS! QUICKEN ME, O LORD, FOR THY NAME’S SAKE! FOR THY RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE BRING MY SOUL OUT OF TROUBLE! I AM THY SERVANT!

BLESSED BE THE LORD MY STRENGTH, WHICH TEACHETH MY HANDS TO WAR, AND MY FINGERS TO FIGHT! MY GOODNESS! MY FORTRESS! MY HIGH TOWER! MY DELIVERER! MY SHIELD! HE IN WHOM I TRUST! LORD, WHAT IS MAN, THAT THOU TAKEST KNOWLEDGE OF HIM! THE SON OF MAN, THAT THOU MAKEST ACCOUNT OF HIM! BOW THY HEAVENS, O LORD, AND COME DOWN: TOUCH THE MOUNTAINS, AND THEY SHALL SMOKE! CAST FORTH LIGHTNING, AND SCATTER THEM! SHOOT OUT THINE ARROWS, AND DESTROY THEM! SEND THINE HAND FROM ABOVE! RID ME, AND DELIVER ME OUT OF GREAT WATERS! I WILL SING A NEW SONG UNTO THEE, O GOD! UPON A PSALTERY AND AN INSTRUMENT OF TEN STRINGS WILL I SING PRAISES UNTO THEE! IT IS HE THAT GIVETH SALVATION UNTO KINGS! PSALM 18! 2 SAMUEL 22! HAPPY IS THAT PEOPLE, THAT IS IN SUCH A CASE! HAPPY IS THAT PEOPLE, WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD!

I WILL EXTOL THEE, MY GOD, O KING! I WILL BLESS THY NAME FOR EVER AND EVER! EVERY DAY WILL I BLESS THEE! I WILL PRAISE THY NAME FOR EVER AND EVER! GREAT IS THE LORD, AND GREATLY TO BE PRAISED! HIS GREATNESS IS UNSEARCHABLE! ONE GENERATION SHALL PRAISE THY WORKS TO ANOTHER, AND SHALL DECLARE THY MIGHTY ACTS! I WILL SPEAK OF THE GLORIOUS HONOUR OF THY MAJESTY, AND OF THY WONDROUS WORKS! MEN SHALL SPEAK OF THE MIGHT OF THY TERRIBLE ACTS! I WILL ELCARE THY GREATNESS! THEY SHALL ABUNDANTLY UTTER THE MEMORY OF THY GREAT GOODNESS, AND SHALL SING OF THY RIGHTEOUSNESS! THE LORD IS GRACIOUS, AND FULL OF COMPASSION; SLOW TO ANGER, AND OF GREAT MERCY! THE LORD IS GOOD TO CALL: AND HIS TENDER MERCIES ARE OVER ALL HIS WORKS! THEY SHALL SPEAK OF THE GLORY OF THY KINGDOM, AND TALK OF THY POWER! THEY KINGDOM IS AN EVERLASTING KINGDOM, AND THY DOMINION ENDURETH THROUGHOUT ALL GENERATIONS! THE LORD UPHOLDETH ALL THAT FALL, AND RAISETH UP ALL THOSE THAT BE BOWED DOWN! THEY EYES OF ALL WAIT UPON THEE! THOU OPENEST THINE HAND, AND SATISFIEST THE DESIRE OF EVERY LIVING THING! THE LORD IS NIGH UNTO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON HIM, TO CALL THAT CALL UPON HIM IN TRUTH! HE WILL FULFILL THE DESIRE OF THEM THAT FEAR HIM! PSALM 37 “DELIGHT THYSELF IN THE LORD, AND HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THY HEART” THE LORD PRESERVETH ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIM!

PRAISE YE THE LORD! PRAISE THE LORD, O MY SOUL! WHILE I LIVE WILL I PRAISE THE LORD! I WILL SING PRAISES UNTO MY GOD WHILE I HAVE ANY BEING! PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES, NOR IN THE SON OF MAN, IN WHOM THERE IS NO HELP! HAPPY IS HE THAT HATH THE GOD OF JACOB FOR HIS HELP, WHOSE HOPE IS IN THE LORD HIS GOD! THE LORD LOOSETH THE PRISONERS! THE LORD OPENETH THE EYES OF THE BLIND! THE LORD RAISETH THEM THAT ARE BOWED DOWN! THE LORD LOVETH THE RIGHTEOUS! THE LORD PRESERVETH THE STRANGERS! HE RELIEVETH THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOW!

PRAISE YE THE LORD! FOR IT IS GOOD TO SING PRAISES UNTO OUR GOD! IT IS PLEASANT! PRAISE IS COMELY! THE LORD DOTH BUILD UP JERUSALEM! HE GATHERETH TOGETHER THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL! HE HEALETH THE BROKEN IN HEART! AND BINDETH UP THEIR WOUNDS! HE TELLETH THE NUMBER OF THE STARS; HE CALLETH THEM ALL BY THEIR NAMES! GREAT IS OUR LORD, AND OF GREAT POWER! HIS UNDERSTANDING IS INFINITE! THE LORD LIFTETH UP THE MEEK! SING UNTO THE LORD WITH THANKSGIVING! SING PRAISE EUPON THE HARP UNTO OUR GOD! HE DELIGHTETH NOT IN THE STRENGTH OF THE HORSE! HE TAKETH NOT PLEASURE IN THE LEGS OF A MAN! THE LORD TAKETH PLEASURE IN THEM THAT FEAR HIM, IN THOSE THAT HOPE IN HIS MERCY! HE SENDETH FORTH HIS COMMANDMENT UPON EARTH! HIS WORD RUNNETH VERY SWIFTLY!

PRAISE YE THE LORD! PRAISE YE THE LORD FROM THE HEAVENS! PRAISE HIM IN THE HEIGHTS! PRAISE YE HI, ALL HIS ANGELS! PRAISE YE HIM, ALL HIS HOSTS! PRAISE YE HIM, SUN AND MOON! PRAISE HIM, ALL YE STARS OF LIGHT! PRAISE HIM, YE HEAVENS OF HEAVENS, AND YE WATERS THAT BE ABOVE THE HEAVENS! LET THEM PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD! HE COMMANDED, ANAD THEY WERE CREATED! PRAISE THE LORD FROM THE EARTH! LET THEM PRAISE THE NAME OF THE LORD! HIS NAME ALONE IS EXCELLENT! HIS GLORY IS ABOVE THE EARTH AND HEAVEN! HE ALSO EXALTETH THE HORN OF HIS PEOPLE! THE PRAISE OF ALL HIS SAINTS; EVEN OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, A PEOPLE NEAR UNTO HIM! PRAISE YE THE LORD!

PRAISE YE THE LORD! SING UNTO THE LORD A NEW SONG, AND HIS PRAISE IN THE CONGREGATION OF SAINTS! LET ISRAEL REJOICE IN HIM THAT MADE HIM! LET THEM PRAISE HIS NAME IN THE DANCE! LET THEM SING PRAISES UNTO HIM WITH THE TIMBREL AND HARP! THE LORD TAKETH PLEASURE IN HIS PEOPLE! HE WILL BEAUTIFY THE MEEK WITH SALVATION! LET THE SAINTS BE JOYFUL IN GLORY! LET THEM SING ALOUD UPON THEIR BEDS! LET THE HIGH PRAISES OF GOD BE IN THEIR MOUTH, AND A TWO-EDGED SWORD IN THEIR HAND! TO EXECUTE VENGEANCE UPON THE HEATHEN, AND PUNISHMENTS UPON THE PEOPLE; TO BIND THEIR KINGS WITH CHAINS, AND THEIR NOBLES WITH FEETTERS OF IRON; TO EXECUTE UPON THEM THE JUDGMENT WRITTEN! THIS HONOUR HAVE ALL HIS SAINTS! PRAISE YE THE LORD!

PRAISE YE THE LORD! PRAISE GOD IN HIS SANCTUARY! PRAISE HIM IN THE FIRMAMENT OF HIS POWER! PRAISE HIM FOR HIS MIGHTY ACTS! PRAISE HIM ACCORDING TO HIS EXCELLENT GREATNESS! PRAISE HIM WITH THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET! PRAISE HIM WITH THE PSALTERY AND HARP! PRAISE HIM WITH THE TIMBREL AND DANCE! PRAYSE HIM WITH STRINGED INSTRUMENTS AND ORGANS! PRAISE HIM UPON THE LOUD CYMBALS! PRAISE HIM UPON THE HIGH SOUNDING CYMBALS! LET EVERY THING THAT HATH BREATH PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE YE THE LORD!

FROM THE CRY TO THE PRAISE! FROM CRYING TO PRAISING! FROM THE CAVE TO THE SANCTUARY! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it beginning and opening with David in the cave—perhaps even the cave of Adullam which is referenced in the Old Testament book of First Samuel. Upon reading the words which are found in the one-hundred and forty-second chapter of the book of the Psalms you will find David emphatically declaring and proclaiming unto the LORD how he cried unto the LORD with his voice, and how with his voice unto the LORD he made his supplication. David would go on to write and declare how he poured out his complaint before the LORD, and showed Him his trouble. Stop for a moment and consider the words which are found within the opening verses of this psalm, for the first thing you notice is that this psalm seems to be written in past tense, which indicates that David was writing this psalm as he looked back upon a time within his life when he felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. The heading of this psalm speaks of it being a prayer of David when he was in the cave, and in order to understand the words found in this psalm we must first recognize and understand the situation and place David found himself in. Before you even begin reading the words which David wrote in this psalm you will first encounter the trouble David found himself in—namely, the fact that he was hiding in a cave as he was forced to run and hide for his life. Upon reading the Old Testament book of First Samuel you will find that David spent a considerable amount of time—the latter portion of his teenage years, and perhaps all of his twenties—running from the murderous hand and threat of Saul. David would find himself hiding in forests, in strongholds, in wildernesses, in caves, and even in the territory of the enemy itself. You cannot read the words which are found in the Old Testament book of First Samuel and not encounter the truly incredible reality that David was hotly pursued by a mad and murderous king who sought to destroy and put him to death. For more than a decade David lived his life on the run from this mad and murderous king while all the while having been anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel.

Stop for a moment and consider the fact that even though David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel he still found himself being hotly pursued by the mad and murderous king of Israel. Even though the Spirit of the LORD came upon David mightily from the time of his anointing onward within and throughout his life he would still run and flee for his life in order to escape the murderous hand and threat of this evil and murderous king. Despite the fact that David had perhaps killed both a lion and a bear after having been anointed by the prophet Samuel, and after being endued with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, he still found himself running and hiding from this mad king who sat upon the throne of Israel. David killed the Philistine giant and champion Goliath, and delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and yet he would still find himself running from the very king who finally consented to letting him go out into the valley of Elah and face the Philistine giant Goliath. David went out before the armies of Israel against the Philistines, and secured great victories for the people of God, and yet even though he won many battles and great victories, he would spend more than a decade of his life running and hiding from the murderous and mad king Saul whom he was to succeed. As if all this wasn’t bad enough we find that even though David was brought into the presence of the king to play upon the harp to soothe and calm his soul and spirit, Saul would on two of those occasions hurl spears at him to strike him down and pin him to the wall. Through the life of David we encounter the astonishing reality that it is possible to be anointed by the LORD, and it is possible to be anointed for a specified purpose, and yet be forced into a time of tremendous affliction and opposition. David was a man who was anointed by the prophet Samuel, and who was endowed with the Holy Spirit from that moment on, and yet David would still find himself on the run hiding in caves, forests, wildernesses, strongholds and the like. David was anointed to succeed Saul as the next king of Israel, and yet he would spend more than a decade running from the very thing he was anointed to succeed.

RUNNING FROM WHAT YOU WERE ANOINTED TO SUCCEED! RUNNING FROM WHAT YOU WERE ANOINTED TO REPLACE! David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to rule and reign as king over Israel, and yet he would find himself running from the very thing he was supposed to succeed. What’s quite astonishing about this reality is that David was anointed to be the next king of Israel, and David was anointed to succeed and replace Saul, and yet he found himself running from the very thing he was going to replace. The narrative of David found within the Old Testament book of First Samuel is one that is dominated by David being forced to live his life on the run as he sought to escape the murderous hand and threat of Saul. Saul, his father-in-law had already sought to strike him down and kill him twice by hurling spears at him, and David was able to evade both of those spears. What’s more, is that not only did David evade both of those spears, but on both instances he fled from the presence of Saul rather than choosing to remain in the palace of the king. Rather than David picking up the spears and hurling them back at Saul, he chose to leave the spears behind—perhaps even pinned into the wall—rather than taking hold of those spears. I continue to believe that there was a tremendous temptation that surrounded the spears which Saul hurled at David, for had David chosen to pick up and lay hold of those spears he would have done more than simply lay hold of the spears themselves. Had David chosen to pick up—even one of the spears that was hurled at him—he would have not only picked up the physical spear itself, but he would have picked up the nature and spirit behind the spear. RESISTING THE NATURE BEHIND THE SPEAR! RESISTING THE SPIRIT BEHIND THE SPEAR! David could have very easily picked up the spear which Saul hurled at him, and he could have very easily taken that spear and hurled it back at Saul, and yet had he made the decision to so he would have assumed—at least in part—the nature of the very man who sought to kill and destroy him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing reality, for we would be remiss and naïve to think that in this generation we ourselves have not faced and do not face this same temptation. Although others might not hurl physical spears against us there are others who hurl condemnation, guilt, shame, slander, malice, anger, rage, and the like. It should be worth noting that David repeatedly mentioned in the psalms of those who shot arrows at him, which is an incredibly intriguing thought to think about when you consider the fact that Saul attempted to hurl a spear at him on two separate occasions.

What do you do when others are hurling spears at you, and there are those who are shooting their arrows against you? What do you do when there are those before and around you who if they are not casting spears at and against you, they are shooting their arrows at and against you? We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing and challenging reality, for David was a man who continually found himself being shot at—perhaps from all sides and on all fronts—from enemies and adversaries which were too strong and too great for him. As you read the words found within this psalm you will find that David emphatically declared unto the LORD that He cried unto Him with his voice, and that with his voice he did make his supplication before him. David acknowledged that he poured out his complaint before him, and shewed him all his trouble, for his spirit was overwhelmed within him. Please do not miss the importance of the words found within this psalm for David not only spoke of his complaint, but David also spoke of his trouble, and his feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed. David began the psalm by speaking and writing of him crying unto the LORD with his voice, and with his voice making his supplication unto the LORD. I can’t help but stop at the first two words of this psalm, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the first two words of this psalm are words that have described countless men and women throughout the years and throughout the generations. The opening words of this psalm speak very clearly to a moment you might have experienced at least once within your life—a moment when you felt completely and utterly overwhelmed, and when the only thing you knew to do, and the only thing you had to do was to simply cry before the LORD. With this being said, however, I would like to emphasize and express the fact that there is a vast difference between crying and crying out to the LORD. The language which we find in the opening verse of this chapter not only speaks to that of crying unto the LORD, but I would also suggest that the words David wrote in this psalm spoke of his actually and literally crying before the LORD.

I CRIED OUT UNTO THE LORD! I CRIED BEFORE THE LORD! CRYING OUT TO THE LORD! CRYING BEFORE THE LORD! I sit here today thinking about the words found within this Old Testament book of the Psalms and I have to admit that I am absolutely captivated with how many times the phrase “I cried unto the LORD” is actually used. If you read the Old Testament book of the Psalms you will find that there were specific instances and specific times when the psalmist boldly and emphatically proclaimed in writing how they cried unto the LORD—and not only how they cried unto the LORD, but also how they cried unto the LORD because they believed He would hear them, and because He did in fact, and had in fact heard them. Time and time again within the book of the Psalms you will find the psalmist(s) declaring how they cried out to the LORD, and how they cried out to the LORD in their distress, in their anguish, in their affliction, and in their season of feeling overwhelmed. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing concept, for the psalms are replete with example after example of the psalmists who not only cried out unto the LORD, but also cried before the LORD. With this being said I feel the need to declare that there are those times when what we actually do in the presence of the LORD is cry out before Him, while other times we simply cry before Him and in His presence. There are times within our lives when we cry out to the LORD in prayer, and where our soul and our spirit are fully and completely engaged in our prayer before the LORD, thus producing a powerful cry in the presence of the LORD. There are other times when we are unable to cry out before and cry out unto the LORD, for we cannot find words to even pray before Him and in His presence. It is during these times when rather than crying out before the LORD, or crying out unto the LORD, we simply cry before the LORD. There are times when the only language we have within our heart and our soul is a groan and a cry, and the only action we can manage is simply crying before the LORD. Have you ever found yourself in this place before? Have you ever found yourself in the place where you couldn’t cry out to the LORD in prayer, and you couldn’t open your mouth or lift up your voice before the LORD, and the only thing you could do was cry before the LORD? Have you ever found yourself in the place where all you could manage and all you could muster was simply crying before the LORD—simply allowing all the raw and unfiltered emotions that have been bound up and pent up within your soul to pour out before the living and eternal God?

SOMETIMES THERE IS NO LANGUAGE BUT A GROAN! SOMETIMES THERE IS NO LANGUAGE BUT A CRY! SOMETIMES THERE IS NO LANGUAGE OF WEEPING! SOMETIMES THERE IS NO LANGUAGE BUT MOURNING! SOMETIMES THERE IS NO LANGUAGE BUT SOBBING UNCONTROLLABLY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD! I would be completely lying if I said that it was always easy to cry unto the LORD with our voices, and that there weren’t times within our lives when we found it incredibly difficult to cry unto the LORD, to cry out before the LORD, and to truly lift our voices before Him. There are times within our lives when we have entered into the presence of the LORD and our spirit was so overwhelmed within us, and our soul was so heaven within us that the only thing we could manage in the presence of the LORD was simply tears and crying before Him. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact that tears and prayer can in all reality be their own language in the secret closet of prayer? Would it surprise you think about and consider the fact that crying before the LORD can be its own language before the LORD and that He understand tears just as much as He understands words. We would be incredibly naïve to think that the only language the living God hears is that which proceeds forth from our mouth, for I am convinced that there are a number of times when the words which proceed forth from our mouth is not the truest expression of ourselves. I am convinced that there can be times within our lives when the words which we speak before the living God can be nothing more than smoke and mirrors to take away from what we are truly feeling and what we are truly experiencing. I would dare say that there are times within our hearts and lives when the truest and ultimate expression of our heart and our soul are those words which aren’t said, and those words which aren’t spoken. There are countless times when we have entered into the presence of the LORD and the LORD has been waiting for us to truly express what’s in our heart and soul, and yet that which we offer Him is vague and generic words. We fail to realize and comprehend the awesome reality that the living and eternal God who created the heavens and the earth knows and understand tears just as much as He understands words.

When I read the words which the psalmist David wrote in this particular passage I can’t help but encounter the truly astonishing reality that twice within this psalm David declared how he cried unto the LORD, and yet there is something markedly and noticeably different between the two exclamations. If you read the first and opening verses of this chapter you will find David declaring and speaking to how he cried unto the LORD with His voice, and how with His voice he made his supplication because of his trouble, and because his spirit was overwhelmed within him. When you come to the fifth verse, however, you will find David once more declaring and speaking of how he c ride unto the LORD, but directly linked and connected that that declaration is a statement that the LORD was indeed his refuge and his portion in the land of the living. It’s quite a marked and noticeable difference when you read the words which are found in this particular psalm, for here we find David hiding in the cave—perhaps the cave of Adullam where he escaped and found himself all alone, or perhaps even in the same cave where Saul would go in to relieve himself and cover his feet. I have to admit that I am more inclined to think that when David wrote this particular psalm he was in the cave of Adullam based on the language that is found within this psalm. As you read the words found in this psalm you will find David speaking of his showing the LORD his trouble, and how his spirit was overwhelmed within him. David would go on to speak of how when his spirit was overwhelmed within him, the LORD knew his path, for in the way wherein he walked his enemies and adversaries laid a snare for him. In the fourth verse of this chapter you will find David making a very specific declaration, and one that I am convinced countless men and women have made at least once within their life. If you begin reading with and from the fourth verse you will find David speaking of that time in the cave—a time when he not only felt completely overwhelmed, but also felt completely and utterly alone. The words which we find within this psalm are actually quite intriguing when you think about it, for I am believe they were perhaps written when David first entered the cave, and well before the LORD answered His prayer. If there is one thing we must realize concerning this particular prayer is that not only did the LORD answer the prayer of David, but the LORD also responded in a very specific way. Before we get into the words which are found within the Old Testament book of First Samuel it’s necessary to consider the words which are found here in the fourth and fifth verses. The words located within these verses bring us face to face with the condition of David’s heart and soul when he entered the cave, and found himself completely overwhelmed and utterly alone:

“I looked on my right hand, and behold, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:4-5).

Please do not miss the incredible importance of the words which are found in these verses, for what we find within these verses is a powerful statement of what went through the heart and mind of David when he found himself in that cave. We know from the opening verses that David showed the LORD his trouble, and that when his spirit was overwhelmed within him he cried out to the LORD, but these words present something altogether and entirely different, for they drill down to what was truly within the heart and soul of David. We know from the heading of this psalm that David was in the cave, and we know from the opening verses that David showed the LORD his trouble because his spirit was overwhelmed, but moving even further into the psalm we find David becoming more personal and more specific in his prayer before the LORD. In the fourth verse of this chapter we find David speaking of how he looked on the right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know him. What’s more is that David also went on to speak and declare that there was no man who would care for his soul. Stop for a moment and consider the words David is speaking here, for not only did David feel like there was no man who would know him, but David also felt that there was no man who cared for his soul. In all reality, the words which David expressed before the LORD were such which were all too familiar for a prophet of the LORD who also found themselves fleeing from the murderous hand and threat of another. If you journey to the Old Testament book of First Kings you will find the prophet Elijah having just called down fire from heaven, and unlocking the heavens that they might pour forth rain in abundance upon the earth, and yet in the very next chapter we find the prophet running for his life. Here we have this prophet who not only locked the heavens with a word, but also opened and unlocked the heavens with a prayer. What’s more, is this prophet Elijah stood before the prophets of Baal and the various other false prophets which were found within the northern kingdom of Israel, calling on the name of the LORD, and the LORD responding by sending fire down from heaven. I spoke of David being anointed by the prophet Samuel, and how the Spirit of the LORD came upon him from that day forth, and yet how David found himself fleeing for his life from the murderous hand and threat of Saul. Elijah was a man who locked the heavens from pouring forth rain according to his word, and unlocked the heavens that they would pour forth rain with fervent and effectual prayer. Moreover, Elijah called down fire from heaven, and yet despite praying for rain and calling down fire, Elijah still found himself running from the murderous hand of Jezebel queen of Israel. Consider if you will the words which are found—first in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings, and then that which is found in the nineteenth chapter of the same Old Testament book:

“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took one bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. And Elijah said unto all the people, come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall by thy name: and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and tha tI have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that you hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishinev, and slew them there” (1 Kings 18:21-40).

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel” (1 Kings 18:41-36).

“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, it is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:1-8).

“AND HE CAME THITHER UNTO A CAVE, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have b even very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:9-14).

As you read these passages of Scripture you will not only encounter the prophet Elijah calling upon the name of the LORD in the sight and presence of both the people and prophets of Baal, and the LORD answering him by sending fire down from heaven. What’s more, is that within the same chapter you will find the prophet praying seven times unto the LORD that it might rain upon the earth, and on the seventh time his servant went to look toward the sea he saw a little cloud the size of a man’s hand rising up out of the sea. As a direct result of this prophet’s prayer the heavens would be opened and unlocked, and a torrential rain would be released upon the land. When, however, you come to the nineteenth chapter you will find Ahab telling Jezebel all that Elijah did, and how he had slain all the prophets of Baal. Upon hearing what Elijah had done Jezebel immediately rushed to make and issue a threat against this prophet, and declared unto him that by the same time tomorrow she would make him like one of those prophets he had slain at the brook Kishon. Elijah was made aware of the threat of Jezebel and immediately arose and fled for his life, and came unto Beer-sheba, which belonged unto Judah. After leaving his servant in Beer-sheba Elijah would himself go a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree and requested that he might die. It’s important for us to understand the emotional and mental state Elijah was in at this point in time, for even in the previous chapter we find him feeling completely and utterly alone. As if it weren’t enough for Obadiah speaking unto Elijah and declaring how Jezebel had slain all the prophets of the LORD, Elijah would declare in the sight and presence of all the people at Carmel that he along remained a prophet of the LORD. There atop Carmel Elijah stood alone, and we cannot and must not forget and lose sight of the fact that even before Jezebel’s murderous threat Elijah felt alone in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Atop Carmel Elijah stood against all the prophets of Baal, and stood in the midst of all the people of Israel, and did so all alone as the prophet of the LORD. What’s so incredibly intriguing about this, however, is that despite the fact that Elijah stood alone atop Carmel against the prophets of Baal and in the midst of the people of Israel, the LORD would answer his prayer by sending fire down from heaven upon the altar and upon the sacrifice that was was upon it. Even more than this—when Elijah prayed before the LORD that the heavens might open up and that it might rain once more, he did so all alone. His servant would be sent seven times to check and see if there were any signs of rain, and after the seventh time he would see a little cloud the size of a man’s hand.

If there is one thing we must recognize and learn about Elijah, it’s that when he stood atop Carmel he did so all alone in the midst of all the prophets of Baal, and even in the midst of the people of Israel. When Elijah called upon the LORD that He might send fire down from heaven he would do so all alone, and when He prayed unto the LORD that it might rain upon the earth, he prayed all alone. When we come to the nineteenth chapter of First Kings we find Elijah alone being threatened by Jezebel, and we find Elijah initially fleeing with his servant before leaving his servant in Beer-sheba, which belonged to Judah. Upon leaving his servant there in the land of Judah Elijah himself would flee alone into the wilderness where he came and sat down under a juniper tree. It would be there under the juniper tree that Elijah would despair of life, and would request for the LORD that he might die. There all alone in the midst of the wilderness Elijah would declare unto the LORD that it was enough, and then requested that the LORD might take away his life, for he was not better than his fathers. There under the juniper tree the prophet would lie down and sleep before being awakened by the angel on two occasions entreating him to eat and drink for the journey before him would be too great. After eating and drinking the prophet Elijah would then go in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God in the wilderness of Sinai. Once he arrived at Horeb the mount of God in the wilderness, Elijah would come unto a cave, and would lodge there in the cave until the word of the LORD would come unto him. This is something that is truly worth noting, for when Elijah stood atop Carmel he did so alone before all the prophets of Baal and before all the people of Israel. When Elijah prayed unto the LORD that it might rain, he prayed alone seven times before the LORD answered him by causing a cloud to come up from the sea. When Elijah went a day’s journey into the wilderness from Beer-sheba in the land of Judah, he would do so all alone after leaving his servant behind. Upon journeying into the wilderness of Sinai unto Horeb the mount of God, Elijah would journey alone forty days and forty nights. Even when he came unto the cave there at the mount, he would lodge there alone. And finally, when the LORD asked him what he was doing there, Elijah declared that he alone was left after all the prophets had been slain with the sword.

It is necessary that we understand this narrative of Elijah, for there is something which is truly intriguing and captivating when you consider the words and language contained therein. IN the narrative of the prophet Elijah we find him coming to the cave at Horeb the mount of God all alone—just as David would come to the cave of Adullam all alone. When David came to the cave of Adullam he would do so all alone, and would enter that cave without a single soul there with him. This reality is evidenced and manifested within his words when he said there was no man who would know him, and that refuge had failed him. What’s more, is David would go on to declare that no man cared for his soul. Stop for a moment and consider the trouble which David spoke of within his life, for David spoke of no man knowing him, refuge failing him, and no one caring for his soul. Undoubtedly David felt completely and utterly alone there at the cave, and even spoke of this loneliness before the LORD in prayer. It would be there at the cave of Adullam David would find himself completely and utterly alone, and would find himself without a single soul that would comfort and come alongside him. This is actually something that is worth considering—not so much because of the cry itself, but because of the LORD answering David in the midst of the cry. We find within this particular psalm David crying unto the LORD, and eventually and ultimately coming to the place where he realized and recognized that the LORD was his refuge. It’s truly something worth considering when you read the words of David in this psalm and find him speaking of refuge failing him, and then almost in the next breath declaring of the LORDO that the LORD was His refuge. On the one hand we find David declaring that refuge failed him and that no man cared for his soul, while on the other hand we find David d declaring that the LORD alone was his refuge. Oh please don’t miss this truly remarkable and wonderful reality, for the words we find here not only reveal the nature and character of the living God, but they also reveal how the LORD would answer and respond to the prayer of David. David himself would declare that refuge failed him, and would then go on to declare that the LORD was his refuge, and we must recognize that the LORD alone was David’s refuge, but also how the LORD would further be David’s refuge by providing him with the very thing he felt was absent form his life. Consider if you will the words which are found within the twenty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel beginning to read with and from the first verse:

“David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the c ave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men. And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know that God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold. And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth” (1 Samuel 22:1-5).

Just before David fled to the cave of Adullam we find him arising, and fleeing for fear of Saul, and coming unto Achish the king of Gath. It would be there in Gath where David would be even more fearful and even more frightened when they realized that it was he of whom those in Israel sang songs about him slaying ten thousands, while Saul had slain thousands. There in Gath David would change and altar his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and letting the spittle fall down upon his beard. Eventually and ultimately David would flee from the land of the Philistines and from the city of Gath and would come unto the cave of Adullam, and it was there in the cave of Adullam where David would feel completely and utterly alone with no one providing him any solace, any comfort, and strength, any support—those things which I am sure he desperately longed for and needed. It was true that David initially and originally had Jonathan the son of Saul as someone to lean and rely upon, but when he came to the cave of Adullam he felt completely and utterly alone. There at the cave of Adullam David would read how the place where no man would care for him, and where refuge would fail him. What’s so incredibly interesting when you think about and consider this reality is when you find David originally declaring how refuge failed him, but then speaking of how the LORD was his refuge. David would declare that the LORD was his refuge, and what we find and read in the twenty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel is the LORD answering David’s prayer—not only by Himself being David’s refuge, but also by surrounding David with others who would come alongside him, and essentially run with him. It’s worth noting that in the twenty-second chapter of the book of First Samuel we are given a specific number concerning those who came unto David there at the cave, which would total four-hundred men. When his brethren and his father’s house heard that he was in the cave, they all came down unto him. What’s more, is that not only would David’s father, mother and brethren come down unto him there at the cave, but so also would everyone who was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented would gather themselves unto him. There at the cave David would experience a transformation from fugitive and vagabond to being a captain over those who were with him. When David came to the cave he would come completely and utterly alone with no one who seemed to show any concern or regard for him, and yet when he would leave the cave he would leave as captain over four-hundred men.

Stop and think about this particular reality, for it is something that is absolutely remarkable to consider concerning David. David would come to the cave of Adullam completely and utterly alone, and would even cry out to the LORD there at the cave concerning refuge failing him, and yet the LORD would answer and respond to David’s cry by sending unto him his parents, his brethren, and a number of those who were discontented, distressed and in debt. In total the LORD would bring unto David four-hundred men whom he would be the captain over, and when David would leave the cave he would not only leave as captain, but also with a wonderful band of brothers who would run alongside him, and those who would fight alongside him. What’s more, is that when you come to the very next chapter of this same Old Testament book you will find that number growing to six-hundred men. By the time we come to the twenty-third chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel we find David going from one man hiding in a cave to captain over six hundred men who would now run alongside and with him, and who would fight alongside him. We cannot afford to miss this particular reality and truth, for it dramatically reveals the awesome nature of how the LORD answered and responded to the prayer of David, as the LORD would initially bring unto David four-hundred men whom he would be captain over, and would increase that number to six hundred in a short period of time. How absolutely astounding it is to think about and consider the fact that David would initially and originally come to the cave of Adullam and would come all alone, and yet when he left the cave he would leave captain over four-hundred men. What a tremendous sight that must have been as David left the cave—not only surrounded by God, but also surrounded by four-hundred men. There is not a doubt in my mind that when David moved forth from the cave of Adullam he would move forth with those four-hundred men—men who would walk with him, men who would run with him, men who would fight with him, and undoubtedly men who would be a refuge before and around him. What a powerful sight it must have been for David to leave the cave of Adullam no longer as one man fleeing for his life, but now as four-hundred men who were right there by his side. From this point forward David would never flee, nor would he ever fight alone, for the LORD would be a refuge before and around him through those whom he brought alongside him.

We know and understand from Scripture that the LORD is indeed a refuge unto all those who walk with, worship and serve Him, but through the narrative of the life of David we also learn and understand that the LORD can indeed be a refuge for His people by surrounding them with those who are not only willing to walk alongside them, but those who are willing to run with them, and those who are willing to fight with them. It is absolutely possible for the LORD to be a refuge for His people by surrounding those people with men and women who will stand with them, men and women who will walk with them, men and women who will run with them, and men and women who will fight with and beside them. David originally went from speaking and declaring that refuge failed him, but would go on to speak and declare how the LORD was His refuge, and his portion in the land of the living. David began the one-hundred and forty-second psalm crying unto the LORD with His voice, and making his supplication as he poured out his complaint before him, and perhaps one of the most astounding truths contained within this psalm is essentially what appears to be David outlining his trouble and sorrow before the LORD. It’s quite powerful to read how David showed before the LORD his trouble, thus suggesting that he outlined for the LORD the grim reality of what he was facing. This outline would be no man knowing him, refuge failing him, and no man caring for his soul. What is truly something worth considering is that David would state that no man knew him, and that no man cared for his soul, and before he would leave the cave the LORD would give him four-hundred men who would not only know him, but who would also care for his soul. What we must also recognize and understand this reality is that as much as there were those men who knew David, and as much as there were those men who cared for David’s soul, I would also dare say that David cared for the souls of those four-hundred men, and David knew those four-hundred men. We don’t know how long David was in that cave, nor over what period of time these four-hundred men came unto him, but I am sure there in that cave David had the chance to truly get to know those men who had come unto him. Oh I can’t help but wonder what those nights and days were like for David and these men as prior to the cave David would perhaps have never had the chance to get to know or encounter these men.

WHEN CAVES BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER! WHEN THE CAVE IS AN INVITATION FOR FELLOWSHIP! WHEN THE CAVE IS AN INVITATION FOR CAMARADERIE! As I think about this cave which David found himself in, I can’t help but think about the absolutely undeniable reality that were it not for the cave he perhaps wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know those four-hundred men who came unto him as he was hiding in the midst of it. Isn’t it something truly remarkable to think about and consider the fact that David would enter the cave alone and all by himself, and yet it would be there in that cave David would experience the refuge of God in a way he perhaps was not expecting, and perhaps didn’t even think was possible. David entered that cave and perhaps had absolutely no expectation the LORD would bring unto him four-hundred men who would pledge their allegiance to him, and yet it would be there in that cave David would truly come to know, and truly come to care for each and every man who had come unto him. Oh, I can’t help but think about the tremendous bond that would have been created between David and those men—perhaps even a bond such as was shared between David and Jonathan. We know and understand that David loved Jonathan as himself, and loved Jonathan as his own soul, and y eat at the end of the book of First Samuel we find Jonathan being killed together with his brothers, and Saul their father. At the end of the book of First Samuel we find Jonathan who was David’s closest companion and one he loved as a brother being killed in battle, and yet while David would mourn the loss of his brother Jonathan he would be surrounded by six-hundred men who would be his companions during his time running for his life, and would even become part of his mighty men whom we would read about in the books of Second Samuel, and First Chronicles.

I have to admit that I absolutely love the LORD would take David’s cry that there was no man who cared for his soul, and that refuge had failed him, and would respond to that cry by initially surrounding him with four-hundred men. What’s more, is the LORD would grow that number to six hundred men, and when David would come unto Hebron in the land of Judah he would come accompanied by six-hundred mighty men of valor and mighty men of war. It would be there in the land of Judah the LORD would increase that number around David as he would be anointed as king over Judah in Hebron. After seven years reigning as king over Judah in Hebron David would ultimately step into that for which he had been called, and that for which he had been anointed, and would be anointed as king over all Israel. It would be from the city of Jerusalem David would rule over the nation and kingdom of Israel, and David would experience a further transformation of those men who would surround him, as Scripture would speak of those mighty men of Davi who would fight alongside him, and those who would fight for both he and the LORD his God. Oh, David would in all reality experience the living and eternal God as his refuge, and yet there would essentially be two elements and two dimensions of the LORD being his refuge. The first dimension of the LORD being his refuge would be the LORD Himself being His refuge, and the LORD Himself surrounding David as a mother eagle would surround her young. The second dimension of the LORD being a refuge for David would be His surrounding him with mighty men of valor and mighty men of war—those who would fight alongside and stand with him in battle, and those who would take up sword and shield. In fact, when you come to the one-hundred and forty-fourth chapter of this Old Testament book of Psalms you will find David echoing words and language which were found in the eighteenth chapter of this book. David would begin the one-hundred and forty-fourth psalm by speaking of the LORD his strength, and the LORD who taught his hands to war, and his fingers to fight. What’s more, is David would also go on to speak of and declare the LORD as being his goodness, as being his fortress, as being his high tower, as being his deliverer, and as being his shield and he in whom he trusted. This reality would be echoed in the eighteenth chapter of the book of the Psalms as David would not only reference the LORD as His refuge who would fight for him, but also speak of the LORD as his refuge who would teach and train his hands for war, as well as the hands of those who would fight alongside David. Consider if you will the words which are found within the eighteenth chapter of the book of the Psalms beginning with the first and opening verse of the chapter:

“I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliver; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compasses me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rose upon a cherub, and did fly: Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also int a large place; He delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; with the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high l oops. For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? OR who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken in mine arms. Thou hast also give me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath Holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: They are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me” (Psalm 18:1-40).

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