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What cave???


I know because I talk to people and I read other writings, posts and status’s that we are all busy, busy, busy. 

Time, and life, is accelerating and if you don’t believe me; even little kids think time goes too fast. 

When I was a child, summer was sooooooooo long.

Waiting for Christmas and my birthday, car rides and sitting at the table while my parents finished their coffee after dinner was nothing short of an eternity. 

But I hear even young ones today say how fast time has gone so … it must be an acceleration. 

And as I hurtle through my days, I sometimes realize I have mentioned on here how I am going to tell you something and then other thoughts flit across my brain and I never get it down in type. 

Last week, I alluded to a Psalm of David that I wanted to share about. Or maybe it was just in my own head that I planned to address it…whoops…there I go again.

Before I let more time steal this thought I want to make sure I get it out of my head and onto this place where we meet.


Last Tuesday my devotional reading was based on Psalm 142. 

As I turned to the passage in my Bible, I noted this particular song was written by David and in the tiny italic type under the big number 142 it says..

A Maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer. 

Well, if you know me…I had to get some questions answered before I could even move on to the psalm, devotion and anything else God might be wanting me to take away. 

First off, I had to find out what a “maskil” is. Turns out it is a literary style – a kind of instruction. 

Easy peasy. What is David teaching us?

But then I wanted to know what cave????

Because obviously this had to be very important, right?

It is noted as “the” cave, so it had to be a specific cave and I wanted to know which one it was because I am learning that things like this knowledge will give me a greater grasp of understanding the meaning of the passage I am studying. 

So I googled it….and I read the notes in my Bible…and I read a huge passage of Matthew Henry’s commentary…(and I think we all are beginning to understand why time getting away from me may be an issue)…

and guess what I found out?

All of those sources agree that they don’t know if it was the cave of Adullam or the cave of Engedi. 

This led to a rabbit trail of great proportions as I then followed up with the passages that hold the account of his experiences in these two caves and then I poured another cup of coffee and wondered why on earth my bible would include “when he was in THE cave” and it isn’t really a specific cave and then it hit me.

The geographical location of the cave is not the point. 

It was the circumstances IN the cave that made THE cave special.

Because both caves were really the same cave.

The cave where he was held captive by circumstances not of his choosing.

In both of these caves he faced the depth of betrayal.

It was the confusion of having been anointed as the future King of Israel and then running for his life. 

It was being banished and then having his family and all the outcasts and rubble and apparent riff-raff that didn’t make the cut in Saul’s kingdom coming to find him and say…lead us. 

It was the despair and the need for protection and direction and wisdom and waiting and responsibility not only for himself but for the calling God had placed on him.

It was THAT cave where David poured out so many prayers over and over that years later, he set about to write this out for us as an example of how someone who is after God’s heart prays and talks to God and sorts things out when he or she is in “the cave.”

I get it. 

I have some caves that I know of as THE cave. 

They are familiar places where I have had to dwell for an extended period of time. 

Places where it seems God led me and then left me.

My prayers and my cries have been repeated often enough that I can tell you the gist of them years later. 

I can remember what it felt like and I can remember when I was delivered. 

And sometimes, I pull out those experiences and I write them again, outside the cave, for someone else to read. 

I am no longer in that cave, but my words might give to some other cave dweller some hope and a way to hold on and get through. 

And that is what this Psalm is about. 

Are you in “the” cave today? 

Do you know someone else who is?

Turn to Psalm 142 and let it guide and lead your prayers as you wait <3

Better yet…here it is

I cry aloud to the LORD; I plead aloud to the LORD for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him. Although my spirit is weak within me, You know my way.

Along this path I travel they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me.

I cry out to You, LORD; I say, “You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.”

Listen to my cry, for I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Free me from prison so that I can praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because You deal generously with me.

Psalm 142 A Maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
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  1. I have been in and out of the cave and love how you researched to bring greater understanding to this passage. Could the cave be likened to the prayer closet?

    1. Thank you for your comment

      I think that is an excellent conclusion and I have to say that is precisely what the cave was/is and yet you brought clarity to it! When our kids were home and in school, I somehow had more time to do that kind of rambling study. Now that I am writing about it, there is a battle to find the time to dig in…hmmmm…

      One thing the commentary said was that David was a mighty warrior – a soldier – a KING!!! when he would have dug back into his past and written this instructional psalm. The writer of the commentary pointed out that he was unashamed to own publicly the feelings of helplessness and discouragement and his need for God. Oh if only our leaders would realize this, amen? all of them.

      Love your heart Joda – so appreciate you sharing it with me!!!

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