23. And David went up from there to live in the strongholds of En Gedi (1 Samuel 23:29).
The strongholds of En Gedi–a cave-filled mountain–is a long way from a palace. Many leaders become weary and frustrated on their road to leadership when the comforts that ought accompany them are missing. Caves are places where depression and disappointment can overcome. Don’t believe me? Ask Elijah!
In this story, David is trapped in the mountain, away from home, family, and friends, and surrounded by men of foreign lands who are the only ones willing to resist Saul. It’s a recipe for discouragement. Such are the days of waiting for a promised throne. I think for us, this most clearly connects with moments where people don’t treat us as we think they should. We want to believe our position brings credibility and respect, and we don’t react well if what we’re getting doesn’t match that expectation. So how does a kid who had been anointed as the next king by Samuel himself, deal with these accommodations? He is forced to wait in caves and dwell among outcasts. For many, that’s a recipe for abandoning trust in God. But not for David