David had bottomed out. This was the lowest moment of David’s life to date, and if you want to know how he really felt, just read the song he composed during those days, Psalm 142.
Can you feel the loneliness of that desolate spot? The dampness of that cave? Can you sense David’s despair? The depths to which his life has sunk? There is no escape. There is nothing left. Nothing.
Yet in the midst of all this, David has not lost sight of God. He cries out for the Lord to deliver him. It’s here we catch sight of the very heart of the man, that inward place that God alone truly sees, that unseen quality that God saw back when He chose and anointed the young shepherd boy from Bethlehem.
David has been brought to the place where God can truly begin to shape him and use him. When the sovereign God brings us to nothing, it is to reroute our life, not to end it. Human perspective says, “Aha, you’ve lost this, you’ve lost that. You’ve caused this, you’ve caused that. You’ve ruined this, you’ve ruined that. End your life!” But God says, “No. No. You’re in the cave. But that doesn’t mean it’s curtains. That means it’s time to reroute your life. Now’s the time to start anew!” That’s exactly what He does with David.
Here he is, broken, at the end, without crutches . . . crushed in spirit. And would you look who comes to him? Those same brothers and his father along with the rest of the household. Sometimes when you’re in the cave, you don’t want others around. Sometimes you just can’t stand to be with people. You hate to admit it publicly; in fact, you usually don’t. But it’s true. Sometimes you just want to be alone. And I have a feeling that at that moment in his life, this cave dweller, David, wanted nobody around. Because if he wasn’t worth anything to himself, he didn’t see his worth to anybody else.
David didn’t want his family, but they came. He didn’t want them there, but God brought them anyway. I love it that they crawled right into that cave with him.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.