David Hides From Saul in The Cave of Adullham

Franklin Roosevelt had to work hard to persuade Harry Truman to be his running mate in the 1944 presidential election. Truman wanted to go to the Senate, but incumbent vice-president Henry Wallace was unpopular with many Democratic leaders. So Truman was approached, and accepte … More


David’s next move is to the cave of Adulham, which is about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem and 10 miles northeast of Gath (v.1). David wrote Psalm 34 while he was here at Adullam’s Cave. On the run from mad king Saul, hold up in a cave with all these needy men coming to him. I’m sure he felt vulnerable many times, but he strengthened himself in God.

Word began to spread as to where David was hiding and soon his family joined him (v.1).  Then those in distress, in debt or discontented joined David until there were over 400 men and their families (v.2). These people were outcasts and could only improve their lot by helping David. It is difficult enough to build an army out of good men but for David to build one out of this group of outlaws shows what a great leader he was. Sensing a threat to his own family, David takes them to Moab to live among the kinfolk of his great grandmother, Ruth (vv. 3-4). He takes the rest of the group to the forest of Hereth in Judah (v. 5), perhaps to be near those he had been  anointed, by.

When Saul finds out about David’s return to Judah, he becomes paranoid and imagines that even his loyal followers are against him (vv. 6-8). To make matters worse, Doeg, the Edomite, who had been placed over the servants of Saul, tells him about seeing David talking to Ahimelech, the high priest (v. 9), and how David received food and a weapon from him (v. 10). Saul becomes very angry and orders all of the priests to be killed. Only Doeg was willing to carry out this insane command to kill 85 innocent priests (v. 18)). Abiathar was the only priest that was able to escape with the ephod (23:6), a priestly garment containing the Urim and Thummim, which were two objects David later used to consult God. Saul destroyed Israel’s priesthood, but when David became king he installed Abiathar  who remained in that position during David’s entire reign.

Sometimes God allows evil to develop to teach us not to let evil systems flourish. God does not promise to protect good people from evil but He does promise that ultimately evil will be abolished.


The decisions I make today will effect what I do tomorrow. The longer I continue to make wrong decisions, the more my heart will harden like Saul’s did. The more I make right decisions, the more my heart will soften like David’s did. To make right decisions I need the mind of the Lord.

I Samuel 22:1-23 (English Standard Version)

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