It is fascinating to observe how rapidly allegiances can change. Everyone has abandoned David (see 1 Samuel 22-23)—even those he had led in battle while fighting Saul’s enemy’s just days before. David, who had been trending as the most popular soldier in Israel, has gone for hero to zero in a week. Saul controlled the social media of the time, and those who loved David now hated him. He was on the IDF Most Wanted list.
The men who had rallied to his bravery against Goliath, fought shoulder to shoulder against the Philistines, and stood on the streets crying out, “David has killed his ten thousands,” are now trying to hunt him down. If there is one thing we can say about human nature, is how quickly men will turn their loyalties if the pay is good enough. Men will transgress for a loaf of bread.
David had enemies but he also had allies. In the cave of Adullam men rallied to David. I would argue that it was the allies he developed that sustained him when enemies were hunting him down. David was never alone because allies, bloodstained allies rallied to him during his most vulnerable desperate time. For the next decade they were men who identified with and loved what David stood for—the heart of God.
They were a company of the vulnerable, the discontented, and those in distress and in debt. These were not the well off, successful, and gainfully employed. David had more of a gang than an army,
David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. (1 Samuel 22:3)
What is it that draws these men to David? Why do they come? Samuel writes to emphasize their desperate state—they were malcontents, failures, and desperate. What’s curious is that they are men who can identify with David. The allies of Adullam are men just like David. They get it. They understand the plight of David.
Just days before, they would’ve never identified with anything about David. This blessed son of Jesse; rock star; MMA Goliath slaying World Champion; son-in-law to the king of Israel. There is nothing about David that these bankrupt, indebted, losers could have related to. But now, David’s suddenly become one with them.
David is one of them. He has lost everything. He is in distress, in debt, and discontented. David is the captain of all their problems, all they’ve lost. David is a type of Jesus to us today. Jesus has lost everything at Calvary for us. He took on the torture, the distress, and death that He might give us new life.
That’s what allies are. Allies are men who are vulnerable and broken…together! They are a group of men who have chosen a new captain. Our captain is Jesus and all of us will experience caves of Adullam. May we seek God for Adullam allies.
On the road with allies,
If you are passionate about building a fellowship of bloodstained allied, join us at The Wholeheart Advance, September 10-13th, at Ponderosa Conference Center.
For more information on Pastor Steve Holt and The Road: