A MERRY BAND OF LOSERS

Andy Hollifield 5-28-18
1 Samuel 22:1-2 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the  cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. (2) And everyone that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
The Lord gave me a message on this portion of scripture at Woodfin Baptist Church tonight and I got to thinking about it more after I got home. I preached on this thought; God has a place for you, people for you, and a purpose for you. The message didn’t really start that way but that is how it wound up. I love it when God gives it to you fresh while you’re in the pulpit.
THE PLACE
This event took place right after David had to flee from Saul. When it became apparent that Saul sought to kill him, he fled and went into hiding. My focus in the sermon was that we don’t always understand why God has us in the place he does but we can rest assured that he has a purpose for it. David had already been anointed by Samuel to be king back in chapter 16 and now here he is, after being Saul’s harpist, hid out in a cave, a fugitive on the run. I am sure that is not how David thought things were going to go in his life. Many times we face situations in our lives that we weren’t expecting and wind up in places we wouldn’t have thought we would be even though we are being completely obedient to the will of God the best that we can. Remember, God don’t always put us in places and situations to punish us, but sometimes as a guiding light to those rejected and wandering about in darkness. Whatever the reason and wherever it is, God has a place for you.
THE PEOPLE
David hadn’t sinned at this point and had only tried to please the Lord. In 1 Samuel 18:14 we find that “…David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. In the next verse, we find that because of this Saul was afraid of him. When our enemies see the Lord blessing us because our conduct pleases him, they will begin to fear us and our God. I personally believe that the reason David found himself in this place was for the benefit of the people who came unto him. If you notice, it wasn’t the upstanding members of society that came unto him but rather a bunch of rejects, misfits, and losers. His family came because they would likely been sought by Saul to draw David out of hiding. The rest came because they didn’t really have anywhere else to go. They were the bottom rung of society so to speak. David was in need of help and these men were in need of a purpose in life as well as a leader and a place to belong.
THE PURPOSE
By chapter 27 David was up to 600 men as was Saul. These men, under David’s leadership, were transformed from losers into warriors and mighty men. In 2 Samuel 23 we find David’s last words before his death. In verse 8, the bible begins to name those men and I want to mention just a few. One was Adino the Ezonite who slew eight hundred men at one time with only a spear. Another was Eleazar the Ahoite. He was one of three men that were with David when they smote the Philistines. He himself fought until his hand got so stiff it was stuck holding onto the sword. Next was Shammah the Hararite who stood in the midst of a pea patch and defended the ground from the Philistines. Three of them, upon hearing David say that he longed to have a drink of water out of the well of Bethlehem which was held by the Philistines, managed to sneak through the enemy line and get water and bring it to David. These were just a few of the men that were at one time considered losers, misfits, distressed, discontent, or even in debt, that came to David in Adullam.
Fighting for David gave them a purpose in their otherwise dreadful existence. David, gave them purpose. We sometimes find ourselves in a particular place or among particular people because that is where God has put us to accomplish his purpose. Those people may have a void in their life and be lacking direction. They may only need someone to guide them before they can reach their full potential in the service of God. We might be the person they are drawn to that will draw them to the Lord. We have no way of knowing and that is why it is so important that we live pleasing to God. Greatness doesn’t always start out great. God molds losers into winners and misfits into mainstays. After all; he turned David’s merry band of losers into mighty men. God has given all of us a place, people, and a purpose. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). All things, both good and bad, work together for good to us according to his purpose and not our own. Your greatness or that of someone else, may not start out as great. Greatness sometimes comes from the most unexpected places and people. Maybe even from a merry band of losers. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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