The Ragamuffin Community of Adullam
|David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him. |
David fled for his life and tried hiding out among the Philistines where he had to pretend that he was crazy because they were so threatened by him. Eventually it wasn't even safe among the enemies of his enemy and so David opted for a nomadic existence in the wilderness.
There, a group of people gather around him. His family and then a riff-raff of people - society's dropouts. This is a diverse and unexpected group of people.
They're a rag tag bunch. At one point they even wanted to kill David when their families had been abducted by the Amalekites because they blamed David for taking too many risks. But David leads them through all of this.
But strangely enough, they become a unit and a significant force.
Read through the pages of 1 and 2 Samuel and you will meet them:
- Looking after a local farmer's flocks without stealing any
- Pretending to fight Israel with the Philistines but raiding the Amalekites and keeping up the ruse.
- Successfully evading Saul and obeying David's instructions to respect the King.
- Performing heroic deeds - facing Goliath's kin and crossing enemy lines just to give David a drink of water.
- Fighting loyally with David.
At the end of 2Samuel we have a few chapters that describe the exploits of David's mighty men. This is what the ragamuffins of Adullam have become!
This is a powerful image of the church. We don't have David, but we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit who will help us grow from a rag-tag bunch of ragamuffins to become a powerful force to accomplish justice and reconciliation in our world.