A Whimsical Dictionary: A is for Adullam

A Whimsical Dictionary: A is for Adullam

A Whimsical Dictionary of Surprising Influences.

A is for Adullam

an unlikely place of fascinating importance; a gigantic cavern in the Judean wilderness, 12 miles from Jerusalem, on the south border of the valley where David slew Goliath. It was the secret headquarters for David and his band of merry men, probably around 600 in number. This cave has been discovered and can be entered even now. Inside the opening is a winding passage that leads to a huge room of about 5,000 square feet. There are many more passages that branch out from that room which lead to other big rooms. It is said that the entire cave system could house at least a thousand men. It is in this very cave where David later found refuge when Saul was in hot pursuit. In this hidden cavern, a scene of young David’s glory, his true colors shone as vividly as the first rainbow. “David left Bath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his family heard about it, they came down to him there. He was joined by all those who were in difficulties, or in debt, or who were embittered, and he became their leader.” (1 Samuel 22:1-2). What kind of man, while in an outlaw’s hideout, would attract the needy like nails to a magnet? Like a man after God’s own heart. Sounds like Someone else we know.

Still later, the same David in this same cave had nostalgically voiced his longing for the sweet water from his enemy-occupied homeland. Even though three of his devoted henchmen risked their lives in retrieving that well-water, the humbled king worshipfully poured it on the ground as a sacred offering to God. (2 Samuel 23:13-17). Indeed, David broke the mold in so many ways, and in Adullam we see him at his best.

Isn’t it ironic that many generations later a Son of David would be born in a lonely cave right next door in Bethlehem, that this Son attracted the needy, would Himself become a ringleader of outcasts, and would offer not water, but His blood as an offering of sacrifice?

And there’s something about those two caves: Neither one would have necessarily inspired a visitor to take off his shoes in awe of their holy ground. Yet no caves have been privileged like this, to house such holy, earthy men. And so we find another in God’s long line of unlikely pictures of goodness. Oh, that we would see ourselves as those caves, earthen vessels containing an unspeakable treasure. Only a wildly imaginative Creator could have concocted the unpredictable reality of limestone throne rooms, dispossessed men-in-waiting, and beggar warriors conquering the world for their homeless Shepherd-King.