Out of the 150 psalms we have in our Bibles, half are authored by King David. And out of the seventy-five psalms written by David, three of them were penned while he was fleeing for his life and hiding in the bowels of the earth! These were David’s “cave psalms,” songs of praise and adoration written at some of his darkest moments.
The first of the cave psalms is found in Psalm 34. The backdrop of this psalm comes out of an embarrassing incident in David’s life. You can read about it in I Samuel 21:10-22:1. We get a glimpse of David’s emotional make-up in verses 4 & 6 (TPT):
Listen to my testimony: I cried to God in my distress
and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears! (v. 4)
When I had nothing, desperate and defeated,
I cried out to the Lord and he heard me,
bringing his miracle-deliverance when I needed it most. (v. 6)
Look at where David was when he entered the cave: discouraged, distressed, fearful, desperate and defeated.
Have you ever been there?
I love David’s authenticity. The psalms he writes are raw and real. Perhaps that’s why we love him so much.
But David never stays in the pit of despair. He is a faithful guide showing us the way out of the emotional swamps of this life.
In his place of desperation and despair, he turns to the Lord. He cries. God answers. He experiences God’s miraculous deliverance. And thankfully, he takes the time to share his cave lessons with us.
We’ll explore those insights in my next blog.