David Gathers a Following (1 Samuel 22:1-5; Psalm 142; 1 Chronicles 12:8-18) November 7
David flees from the Philistine city of Gath to a cave near the city of Adullam, "about ten miles southeast of Gath and sixteen miles southwest of Jerusalem" (Nelson Study Bible, note on 1 Samuel 22:1). At first, he is a man who feels all alone with no one to help him. In that forlorn condition, David cries out to God for help and deliverance. It is with these thoughts that David composes Psalm 142.
But God answers David's prayer. His family and followers soon gather to him (1 Samuel 22:1-2). Indeed, an ever-charismatic, inspiring leader, David puts together a militia of fighting men from the tribes of Gad, Benjamin and Judah with powerful captains. We read in 1 Chronicles 12 about the makeup of this force and how God through the Holy Spirit inspires these men to accept David as their leader (verse 18). In 1 Samuel 22:2, we see that this group of men is not some noble knighthood. Rather, they are malcontents, the dregs of society, men on the run like David himself. And yet, they form a rather formidable force of about 400 men that grows to 600the cave of Adullam being referred to in 1 Chronicles 12 as a stronghold.
Realizing that his parents are in imminent danger from King Saul, David asks the King of Moab to provide refuge for them, which is granted (verses 3-4). It is to Moab's advantage that Israel be weakened through an internal power struggle. Furthermore, David's family has Moabite connections, as his father Jesse's grandmother or earlier ancestor was Ruth, a Moabitess (Ruth 1:4; 4:21-22; Matthew 1:5).