In this important series we have been learning the pillars that help us to make sense of the future. So far, the pillars we learned include:
Pillar 01: Bible Prophecy is the key;
Pillar 02: We live in a spiritual world and the challenges, problems and solutions are equally spiritual;
Pillar 03: We have power and victory over the enemy;
Pillar 04: We are called to fearlessness;
Pillar 05: We are simultaneously ‘dead’ and ‘alive;’
Pillar 06: To this we now offer an important sixth pillar: God provides a way of escape. Think of it: the world is in a mess. The problems are of such a nature that they appear to be unsolvable. Ultimately, the only way forward is the ‘God-solution.’ He either will supernaturally clear the way or He will take His people out of the way. God makes a way where they seems to be no way. Isaiah says God makes a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19).
The testimony of Scripture confirms this. If God does not make a way of escape, then Psalm 91, and other passages and promises, are meaningless. Consider the story of David in I Samuel. Through no fault of his own, his king and father-in-law Saul pursued him with murderous intentions. If he did not have a divinely appointed ‘way of escape,’ he would have been destroyed.
David’s Place of Escape: Adullam
One of those places of escape was the Cave of Adullam (I Samuel 22:1-2). It was either located in the Valley of Elah, west of Bethlehem or in the nearby Judaean wilderness. It was an ideal place: nearby to David’s family but hard to discover and not in the line of fire. David was not the only person to have a fall out with Saul. There were those who were in distress, indebted, and discontented. They had no future with Saul so they decided to hitch their future with David’s. So 400 men gathered there and Adullam became the recruitment ground for David’s mighty men.
Adullam, a centrally located quiet place, provided refuge, rest, refreshment, and recruitment. Here David’s family could meet with him. The refugees were transformed into a fighting fit force. Some of the psalms may have been written here. From Adullam David and the mighty men were launched into their stellar military career.
Consider the great victories that David and his mighty men achieved: They warred and defeated the Philistines, Edomites, Ammonites, and Arameans. Damascus, capital of Syria, was captured by David and he put a garrison there. The rebellions of David’s son Absalom and Sheba the son of Bichri were suppressed. Most significant of all, David and the mighty men had achieved a military victory that eluded Joshua, the judges, and Saul: the conquest of Jerusalem. This Jebusite enclave was converted into a royal city and holy city.
Think about it: all this stemmed from a sojourn to a quiet place, a way of escape, called Adullam. Modern mortals need an Adullam more than ever; consider the paradox that despite so many time-saving devices, we complain about having no time. ‘I’m so busy’ is the constant refrain and, unfortunately, much of the busyness is in vain. Don’t expect any ‘brownie-points’ from the LORD; He is not going to tell anyone, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, you were so busy!’ It is fruitfulness, not busyness, that wins the prize.
God’s ‘Way of Escape’ in Scripture
Consider other instances were God provides a way of escape:
• Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-8): the human race got a fresh start;
• Jacob’s Peniel (Genesis 32:30): Here Jacob won a wrestling match and became Israel, ‘Prince of God;’
• Joseph’s Storehouse (Genesis 41:34-36): the chosen family and Egypt were preserved;
• The Torah’s ‘City of Refuge’ (Numbers 35:9-15): People were protected from the avenger of blood;
• Ruth’s wings of the Lord (Ruth 2:12): she transferred her trust from the gods of Moab to the God of Israel;
• Psalmists ‘hiding place’ (Psalm 32:7; 119:114) & ‘secret place’ (Psalm 91:1) refuge,’ ‘fortress’ (Psalm 91:2);
• Proverbs ‘strong tower’ (Proverbs 18:10): Whoever comes into this tower is kept safe.
• Psalm 91: Your insurance policy about future protection;
• Nahum’s refuge 1:7: The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
• New Testament: Egypt became refuge for Holy Family & the wisemen’s gifts sustained them. God takes care of today, tomorrow, forever;
• Jesus tells us Luke 21:18 But there shall not an hair of our head perish.
• The Lord promises a ‘way of escape’ in Luke 21:36: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
• To the Philadelphian Church, again Jesus promises protection from the hour of tribulation: Revelation 3:10: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
The evidence is there for all to see. Now, more than ever, it is time to trust God with all of your heart, all of the time. He will make a way for you.
Next time, we will discover the seventh and final pillar.