Two men pressed with different needs of life found themselves in a cave. All of them were convinced they could best get solutions in this selfsame cave. They had very diverse problems, two extremes, but strangely, they all found in this cave a solution.
The first man was being hunted like wildebeest, and he was seeking refuge in the recesses of the cave. He was afraid of what may come out if he was caught by the hand of him who took it as a life’s calling to take his life. Nowhere else on the face of the earth was safe enough, and he was afraid death may come too soon as it usually comes to all of us. As we nowadays delay death by hanging on life support, this cave was more than life support to him.
The second man also had problems. He was afraid of the future of his royalty. By disobedience, he forfeited divine protection and wanted to destroy the favourable candidate to replace him. He knew it was a direct finger of God, but he didn’t want to give up without trying. So he was trying to employ everything within his disposal to harass and kill the one who was anointed to replace him. Along the way, as he was hunting the target, the needs of nature drove him to the same cave. This is the executive summary of the story:
After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-Gedi. So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! [1 Samuel 24:1-3 NLT]
The catchment phrase in this text is expressed differently in different versions of the Bible. NKJV has it in this manner, “Saul went in to attend to his needs”, and KJV put it as, “Saul went in to cover his feet.” King Saul went into the cave to answer the call of nature. However, in the very cave, David and his few good men were seeking refuge.
What a Contrast! A place where one seeks refuge, another used as a pit latrine! What a contorted worldview! Whereas something means the Whole World to someone, to another, it is a little dustbin for refuse before he proceeds forth to his favoured place.
This cave can stand for a lot of things. This cave could be used to represent the Church.
Some see it as the hospital for Sinners, and they come seeking the man of Calvary who alone can heal the sin-sick sin-soaked souls. They come in, disappointed by everything this world can afford them, and they come to Christ as the only one who can give them divine identity and newness. They seek refuge in the Church of God, the pillar and ground of the truth. The first group finds a safe retreat in the house of God and trusts the leading of the Lord.
But there is a second group of people. They are equally in labour and heavy burden. They are suffering under the terrible consequences of sin and the displeasure of God. By disobedience, they have gone out of the protection of God, and they know it. They are pressed all day and night long with untold heartaches and pain. But these same people come to the house of God to seek other things. They laugh at Calvary, defecate on the sacred altar and then go their way with hearts sore and troubled. This is a dangerous group to be in. Means through which fallen men can retrace their way to God, they despise and treat lightly!
While others see Calvary as a great place to come and die, others have human agendas that they want to be solved. They seek employment, spouses, recognition, et cetera. After all these pursuits, they go back with their Spiritual burdens and die in sin and disobedience. They are in the very Place and presence of the Lord and Saviour, but Salvation is not on their priority list. If they are honest enough, they can perfectly apply this verse; The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved [KJV Jeremiah 8:20]. But they won’t because they seek things other than the cleansing stream. What seekest thou in the Cave?
All the lost will be extremely disappointed. However, some will be disappointed more. Those who passed a divine offer of pardon but were too busy seeking other things will never forgive themselves. They will wish time could be taken back so that they might re-live their lives. But it will be too late for them to form characters that can be trusted with a reward of eternity with God. The things that blurred their vision, they can’t find valuable anymore. They see things through an unbiased lens and can’t help but write another chapter of Lamentations.
What could be more heartbreaking than being in the hospital and dying for want of medication while the same treatment is available in the same vicinity? It’s like a man who throws away his life jacket and tries to find their own means of surviving the deep waters. It’s like someone who pays tuition money only to find a place to play with their toys yet expects a graduation gown someday. Of such, the guilt of suicide and neglect is recorded.
We are a mixed multitude. Some are in the cave seeking refuge from the storms of life. Others are in the cave seeking the pleasures of this world and relief from the problems of their daily lives. They are worried about their future in this temporal world and not in eternity. Woe unto you if such are you.
So what are you doing in the Cave?