Shabbat Shalom family,
Tehillim/Psalm 9:9 “And יהוה is a refuge for the crushed one, a refuge in times of distress.”
How many of you have felt crushed and in deep distress of late? As many face the increasing pressures of the world and its oppressive systems, many are finding themselves in such despair that they do not know which way to turn; yet here we see the great promise and assurance that יהוה is a refuge for the crushed and a refuge in times of distress. The Hebrew root word for ‘refuge’ is מִשְׂגָּב misgaḇ – Strong’s H4869 which means, ‘a secure height, retreat, stronghold, refuge’ and comes from the primitive root verb שָׂגַב sagaḇ – Strong’s H7682 which means, ‘to be (inaccessibly) high, exalted, lifted, safe, set securely on high’.
Tehillim/Psalm 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in יהוה is set on high.”
Being crushed in distressful times can cause many to find themselves living in the fear of man, while lacking their ability to trust יהוה; yet we need to recognise that while we may have troubles and even be crushed by the times of distress – as we trust in יהוה, and find ‘refuge’ in Him, we are safe as He ‘sets us on high’ giving us the shalom we need to sojourn here amidst all the distress of the nations! Tonight I would like to look at a couple of verses that speak a great deal of truth to us, in shadow picturing the hope we have in Messiah, our Coming King; and as we look at those who joined themselves to Dawiḏ during times of great distress, we are able to recognise the assurance of our refuge that we are able to find in Our Beloved King, יהושע Messiah! In a message tonight called, “FINDING REFUGE IN OUR BELOVED KING!” may we be encouraged and refreshed in the truth of the Blessed Hope we have in our Master! Please turn with me to:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 22:1-4 (Read).
I initially was wrestling with this entire chapter, but got immersed into the great truths we can find here in these first 4 verses and how we can, by looking at some key words, see great parallels in Scripture and also understand the clear consequences of our choices that we face today and make amidst times of increasing distress.
This chapter starts with Dawiḏ escaping to the cave of Aḏullam, after having left Gath and fleeing from king Sha’ul. As we look at these 4 verses we will see a great prophetic shadow picture of Messiah, and our sure ability of putting our trust in Him. גַּת Gath – Strong’s H1661 means, ‘winepress’; and so here in Dawiḏ’s travels we can see, that from his coming from ‘Gath’ to ‘Aḏullam’ and then going to ‘Mitspeh of Moaḇ’, a picture that contains the clear message of the two comings of Messiah as represented by the collection of these 3 places for each of His comings. I will first run through the meanings of these other two places and then dig a little deeper into the shadow pictures of hope that we can see in these events. Firstly though, I just want to remind you that the name of דָּוִד Dawiḏ – Strong’s H1732 means, ‘beloved, beloved one’, and is a clear picture for us of our Beloved King, יהושע Messiah.
עֲדֻלָּם Aḏullam – Strong’s H5725 means, ‘justice of the people’, and it was here in a cave that Dawiḏ had escaped to; and the word translated as ‘escaped’ in Hebrew is מָלַט malat – Strong’s H4422 which means, ‘to slip away, escape, certainly rescue, delivered, saved’, and so Dawiḏ had ‘saved’ himself from the hand of Sha’ul that was pressing hard after him, by coming to the cave at Aḏullam. In a manner of speaking we can see how this cave can represent a cave of deliverance; and in understanding the work of Messiah through His life, death and resurrection, we understand how Messiah who went from praying earnestly in the garden of Gethsemane, which means ‘wine press’, where He began to sweat blood as He began to be crushed for our iniquities and was then impaled on a pole, taking upon Himself the curse of the Torah (which is death) died for our sins and was buried in a ‘cave’, having faced the punishment of death for us, and was risen on the third day, for death could not hold Him; and now we who call unto Him in our distress and immersed in Him are set free from death, as we work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, finding our complete refuge in Him!
Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His Throne and by the name of this cave that Dawiḏ came to, picture for us how our King, who leads the way, does so by satisfying the completeness of His Torah, establishing for us the True Justice of the people, who call upon His Name!
At first we see how Dawiḏ’s brothers and all his father’s house heard where Dawiḏ had gone and they went down to be with him at the cave of Aḏullam! This can picture for us, in a sense, a complete restoration of the house of Ya’aqoḇ who are brought together in Messiah. It was here in Aḏullam that Yehuḏah came, after he and his brothers had rejected and sold Yosĕph into the hands of the Miḏyanites; and after leaving his brothers he settled here and found a wife and had two sons – Ěr and Onan, before leaving to a nearby place, where he had a 3rd son Shĕlah. Ěr was evil in the eyes of יהוה and his life was taken by יהוה before he had any offspring with his wife Tamar… ! I am not going to go in to the account of Yehuḏah and Tamar… please read about it in Berěshith/Genesis 38. The point I am trying to show here is how we see this place ‘Aḏullam’ playing a key prophetic role in shadowing the deliverance that our Beloved King has brought to us in His own Blood and how by His Blood, the whole House of Ya’aqoḇ will be reunited and brought together as One in Messiah.
Miḵah/Micah 1:15 “Again I shall bring a dispossessor to you, O inhabitant of Marĕshah. The esteem of Yisra’ĕl shall come to Aḏullam.”
This is a powerful prophetic statement of the deliverance that Messiah brings to an oppressed and scattered people. The place מָרֵשָׁה Marĕshah – Strong’s H4762 means, ‘crest of a hill’ and comes from the root that means, ‘principalities, place at the head’ and by the strong words of יהוה here we see the clear words of deliverance as He will dispossess or bring low the high and exalted ones of the earth and bring low the rulership of the principalities of this world and will come and bring justice to Yisra’ĕl, who shall be exalted with Messiah at His return, when His Rule and Reign is firmly established here on earth!
The word used here for ‘cave’ in Hebrew is מְעָרָה me’arah – Strong’s H4631 and can mean, ‘cave, den, hole’. What is very interesting to see in Scripture is the frequent use of caves and the applications/events that we see that occurs in caves.
A cave can represent different things for us, for example:
Caves were used as:
1 – An assumed place of refuge – Lot dwelt in a cave with his two daughters after escaping Seḏom and Amorah – although the events that took place there were not good at all!!! The assumed place of refuge became twisted into a place of incest and, this is a lesson for us in recognising that Lot ended up in the mountains and dwelling in a cave, after he had asked to go to a nearby city. He could have even gone to Aḇraham’s camp and found husbands for his daughters, yet he took unnecessary stops and detours along the way – a great lesson for us in recognising that we must keep our feet on the path of Truth and not slip off into finding our own way and think we can find rest and refuge on our own!
2 – Burial sites – The most frequent use of caves in Scripture was for burial sites – in other words, caves primarily picture for us ‘death’. Not that all ‘caves’ for burial sites were ‘bad’ – some were fully paid for – Aḇraham purchased the cave in the field of Maḵpĕlah in order that he would have a burial site for Sarah; and he too was buried there.
3 – Hiding place – In Yehoshua/Joshua 10 we read about the day the sun and moon stood still, when Yehoshua fought against the 5 kings of the Amorites, when he helped the Giḇ’onites who had made a covenant with Yisra’ĕl. This was a spectacular day… none like it before – where יהוה listened to the voice of man and fought for Yisra’ĕl and brought a great victory. The 5 kings of the Amorites fled and hid in a cave at מַקֵּדָה Maqqĕḏah – Strong’s H4719 which means, ‘place of shepherds’. Yehoshua commanded that large stones be rolled over the mouth of the cave, so the 5 kings could not come out, and after the victory they were brought out and killed and hung on 5 trees until evening, after which they were thrown back into the cave they hid in and the cave was shut up forever!
There is much we can take from this account alone, yet for tonight we can see a powerful picture of how many of the ‘false shepherds’ who have led many astray with their false theologies and traditions of man, will be destroyed. This cave, which means a ‘place of shepherds’ represents the teachings and gatherings of the falsified ways of man, and while many assume to find their ‘hiding place’ in a cave that they have been led to by false shepherds who have muddied the truth, will be shut up in the first death and be delivered up at the second resurrection to be judged and face the second death!
4 – Gathering place – caves were also used as a gathering place – lie the account we see here of the many who were gathered to Dawiḏ at Aḏullam – after Dawiḏ’s brothers and his father’s house had come – more came – about 400 hundred men were with him! We will speak about the gathering at this cave and its meaning for us today, shortly…!
5 – Place of protection and supply – Oḇaḏyah hid 100 prophets of יהוה in two caves and fed them bread and water, as he hid them away from Izeḇel, in the days of Eliyahu.
6 – Birthing place of praise and prayer – We can see that while Dawiḏ found himself in this and other caves as he fled from the hand of Sha’ul, we can see how some of his Psalms and prayers were proclaimed and sung from these caves;
Tehillim/Psalm 57 was written as a plea to יהוה that he not be destroyed when he fled from Sha’ul, and the introduction to this Psalm is, ‘To the chief musician, altashḥeth, a poem of Dawiḏ, when he fled from Sha’ul in the cave’ – אַל־תַּשְׁחֵת altashḥeth means, ‘do not destroy’ ; and in Tehillim/Psalm 142 we see a great prayer and cry to יהוה, as its introduction is, ‘A contemplative prayer of Dawiḏ, when he was in the cave’. What we can clearly learn from this is that while we may find ourselves in some of the most darkest times, we can see the birthing of pure praise and prayer unto our Great and Awesome Deliverer!
What we can see from the use of a cave is that while it primarily pictures darkness and death, we can also see how that by the death of Messiah, we have a place of refuge in times of distress, enabling us to be a praising and praying people, aměn!
This word for ‘cave’ – מְעָרָה me’arah is also translated as ‘den’ in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:11 “Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Look, I, even I Myself have seen it,” declares יהוה.”
Turning the House into a den of robbers – this is what יהושע said to those who were buying and selling in the Set-Apart Place, when he turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves! Once again we see how falsehood and the twisting of Scripture is likened to the dark works of death as represented by a cave.
So many people have made a business out the Truth and think that they will prosper – their days are numbered!!!
What we also recognise here at this point of Dawiḏ and those who were gathered to him at Aḏullam, is that Dawiḏ had already been anointed by Shemuʼěl as King; however Sha’ul was still ruling Yisra’ĕl as the king that the people cried out for!
Dawiḏ was king, but yet his time had not yet come; however there was an army that had gathered to him, and he became their head! Today we can see the truth of this here on earth – While we certainly know that יהושע Messiah is our King and He is the King of Righteousness, His Kingdom has not yet come, and we who are gathered to Him, here and know are to proclaim His Kingdom as ambassadors of that which is coming, amidst the chaos of the earthly rulership and order that man has sought for himself. Sha’ul is the picture for us of man-made or self-rule, the rule that seeks to destroy toe Beloved’s ways and all who follow the Beloved King!
Metaphorically speaking, Aḏullam was no ordinary cave – and we see from this how we have a refuge in Messiah, our Coming Beloved King in whom we put our trust – and by us being ‘gathered’ to Aḏullam, so to speak, is a picture for us of how we ‘die to self’ and in our immersion in Messiah we are raised to new life – where we have the assurance in him that the second death has no power over us!
When the news of Dawiḏ was heard – his family came and a few came too in response to what was Good News to them – I say few as 400 in the bigger picture is a clear picture of a remnant that are gathered to their beloved king!
The word used for ‘gathered’ is קָבַץ qaḇats – Strong’s H6908 which means, ‘to gather, collect, assemble, meet, brought together’ and we see this word used a number of times in reference to the gathering of the remnant Yisra’ĕl to Her Beloved Husband and King:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph 11:1 “And all Yisra’ĕl came together to Dawiḏ at Ḥeḇron, saying, “See, we are your bone and your flesh.”
We are you bone and flesh – powerful words of a returning people to their king.
On the day that the Ark of the Covenant was returned and set up in the tent that Dawiḏ had built, he gave thanks and prayer to Elohim and part of this prayer is:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph 16:34-36 “Give thanks to יהוה, for He is good, For His kindness is everlasting! 35 And say, “Save us, O Elohim of our deliverance; And gather us together, And deliver us from the gentiles, To give thanks to Your set-apart Name, And boast in Your praise.” 36 Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl From everlasting to everlasting! And all the people said, “Aměn!” and praised יהוה.”
When Neḥemyah prayed to YHWH and acknowledge his and his father’s sins, he appealed to YHWH on the basis of His Word:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 1:8-9 “Please remember the word that You commanded Your servant Mosheh, saying, ‘If you trespass, I shall scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you shall turn back to Me, and guard My commands and do them, though you were cast out to the end of the heavens, I shall gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen, to make My Name dwell there.’”
And during the rebuilding of the wall, Neḥemyah encouraged all under the intense threats of Sanballat and his crew, to not give up:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 4:20 “In whatever place you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, join us there. Our Elohim fights for us.”
We have an Elohim who fights for us and we need not be afraid – even though we may be a remnant few and sojourning amidst distressing times! In verse 3 we are told that Dawiḏ went from Aḏullam to Mitspeh of Moaḇ; and here can see a powerful picture of Our Beloved Messiah King who watches intently over us and fights for us. The word מִצְפֶּה Mitspeh – Strong’s H4708 means, ‘watchtower’ and comes from the primitive root צָפָה tsaphah – Strong’s H6822 which means, ‘to look out, watchman, keep watch’ and מוֹאָב Moaḇ – Strong’s H4124 means, ‘of the father’.
This is a clear picture for us of Messiah who has gone through the winepress, down to a cave and faced death, was risen on the third day and ascended to the Heavenly Tabernacle where He intercedes for us, as He ‘watches over’ us, for He has brought us the assurance of the coming deliverance of the Father!
The promise of us being gathered is clearly stated over and over in Scripture, just like we see in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 23:3 “Therefore I shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and shall bring them back to their fold. And they shall bear and increase.”
When we consider the people who came to Dawiḏ at Aḏullam, we can see from this that it was those who were in great distress and had been in debt and all who had been bitter in the beings. Without going into each of these Hebrew words, for the sake of time, What we can see here is that the desperate came to their king in order to find true justice. These verses do not in any way say that to have debt is ok, or that to be bitter is ok…NO! What we see here is that this speaks of a people who despite their hard work and daily efforts in trying to survive, they just struggled and the only place they could find true refuge was in the true anointed and beloved king of Yisra’ĕl. The more we walk in the Torah, the harder it will become for us as we sojourn here, yet we are to take courage for messiah has overcome the world and as we walk in Him we too can be more than overcomers, aměn!
We who turn to Messiah, and accept to walk in His Kingdom ways by faithfully obeying His Torah, have the promise of a sure deliverance that will be made complete at His return, and so we find refuge for our lives right here, right now, as we die to self daily and allow His resurrection power to equip us to walk and work out our deliverance with fear and trembling, as we proclaim His name and His Kingdom. What is interesting to see from this Aḏullam account is that those who were gathered to Dawiḏ, while Sha’ul was still in the position of king, is that they became Dawiḏ’s mighty men; and when Messiah – our Beloved King returns with great vengeance, He is coming to tread upon the winepress in His wrath, those who have opposed Him, and in the establishment of His Kingdom, many will run into caves!!! This time those who are running to caves – are not running to a cave of deliverance, but are running to seek shelter from the wrath of Elohim and they will not be able to hide!
Ḥazon/Revelation 6:15 “And the sovereigns of the earth, and the great ones, and the rich ones, and the commanders, and the mighty, and every slave and every free one, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains”
Notice here that it is the kings, the great ones, the rich ones and all the mighty and ‘free’ that are hiding in a cave!!! This is a contrasting picture of those who came to Dawiḏ; for our King will bring low the exalted and exalt the low, in that Day!
While we may find ourselves crushed under great distress, let us be encouraged to seek refuge in our risen king and be able to declare as Sha’ul declared in:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 4:7-10 “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power might be of Elohim, and not of us – 8 being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair; 9 being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed; 10 always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master יהושע, that the life of יהושע might also be manifested in our body.”
In verse 4 we see that Dawiḏ’s family and all who were with him dwelt with him in Moaḇ all the time he was in the stronghold – and the word for ‘stronghold’ is מְצוּדָה metsudah – Strong’s H4686 which means, ‘a fastness, stronghold, fortress, inaccessible place’, and this word is used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 18:2 “יהוה is my rock and my stronghold and my deliverer; My Ěl is my rock, I take refuge in Him; My shield and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower.”
As long as we remain in and live in Him, we shall be safe and assure of the blessed hope of His soon return!
What I want us to recognize from these accounts that we have read about tonight is that we have a Refuge – and he has defeated the ‘cave of death’ so to speak and has established His justice and righteousness that we are to live by and proclaim – may we be found in Him, even in the darkest trials and distress and not be found in the caves of falsehood and lies, but be found in the light of His Truth, finding Refuge in our Beloved King – we do not need to hide in caves and be like Eliyahu who was asked – ‘what are you doing here?’, but we rather must take living refuge in the Living King!
In summary: As we consider ‘Gath’ (winepress), ‘Aḏullam’ (justice for the people) and the ‘metsudah’ (stronghold) at ‘Mitspeh’ (watchtower) of ‘Moaḇ’ (of the Father); we are able to see how at Messiah’s first coming, He went through the winepress for us as He bore our iniquities, bringing true justice and becoming our Refuge and strong tower who is on high; and when He comes again – he will trod the winepress of the wrath of Elohim and administer His justice, bringing down the exalted and raising up the low.
While we are in between these two comings may we be like the desperate men who came to Dawiḏ, and ended up being some of his mighty men, and not be found to be living for self at His second coming and in danger of being trodden down in His wrath! No matter your crushed or desperate state – our Beloved King is a Refuge for those who trust in Him – may we be a people that are daily FINDING REFUGE IN OUR BELOVED KING!
In closing here are a couple of verses from Tsephanyah/Zephaniah that echo the same language and message of our need to be gathered to our Beloved King …. NOW!!!
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 2:1-3 “Gather together, gather together, O nation without shame, 2 before the decree is born – the day shall pass on like chaff – before the burning wrath of יהוה comes upon you, before the day of wrath of יהוה comes upon you! 3 Seek יהוה, all you meek ones of the earth, who have done His right-ruling. Seek righteousness, seek meekness, if so be that you are hidden in the day of wrath of יהוה.”
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:12 “But I shall leave in your midst an oppressed and poor people, and they shall trust in the Name of יהוה.”
Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 3:18-20 “I shall gather those who grieve about the appointed place, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. 19 “See, I am dealing with all those afflicting you at that time. And I shall save the lame, and gather those who were cast out. And I shall give them for a praise and for a name in all the earth where they were put to shame. 20 “At that time I shall bring you in, even at the time I gather you, for I shall give you for a name, and for a praise, among all the peoples of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes,” said יהוה.
We have a Beloved King – יהושע Messiah – are you – FINDING REFUGE IN OUR BELOVED KING?