The 3-D Factor

All of us want to be part of something big, significant, successful. That’s why many are attaching themselves to something that is obviously on the winning side. The leading sports team. A mega-church. A mega ministry. The winning political party. The king on his throne.

If you want to advance yourself, to hang out with someone already in power or in an obvious leadership position is a no-brainer. The closer to “The Guy”, the person of power, the more power and influence you have yourself. What in the world, therefore, was making people leave the comfort of civilization and the smell of power and leave for the desert, in order to attach themselves to an outcast who was hiding away in a cave?

1 Samuel 22 describes “all those that were in distress, in debt or discontented” – a mob of 400 people – gathered around young David, who became their leader. David had been anointed to be a king by the prophet Samuel, but he was not at all in power. He was not “in office”, he was actually excommunicated, with a death warrant on his head. Now what did all those 400 see in that young guy in the cave of Adullam, as the System Saul, the powers that be, was trying to kill him?

Simple. They saw the future. They saw courage, vision, character. A man with a goal. A person who represented a way out of a situation that just has got to change. Why would men described by these 3-ds: distressed, in debt, discontented – attach themselves to someone who, from the traditional positions of power and might simply looked like a loser? Because a person in distress, a person in debt and a person who is discontent with the status quo, all have one thing in common: they want a systemic change. A new start. A new chance.

That is the very situation of the people of God today. Many have gathered around Saul, the choice of democracy, and laugh at David, the choice of theocracy. And yes, the old religious man-made systems seem to be very much in power. The show goes on. The programs keep turning the machine. The conferences are planned. The books printed. The money is raised. But as God’s Kingdom comes, the fiefdoms of religious men will have to go. As God is restoring order in his own house, those who are in, discover to their utter shock that they are actually out, and those that have been out are suddenly the new cabinet… It has all happened before.

So if you find any of these “D”s in you, maybe your best place is not seat 586 or membership number 2.515 in the present All Star Team. Maybe your best place is in one of today’s Adullams around a cave man. An insignificant spot, without the flashlights, the TV ads, the religious crowds. But with a young, new David, filled with a vision of the Kingdom of God. Remember, it’s the meek that inherit the earth. And it’s the last who will be first. And it’s the young losers in whom not even their own fathers believe – like Jesse with his youngest son, David. But those are the ones that are anointed by God’s prophets in this hour for the tumultuous times of great change ahead.

So tell me: are you in the right place?



  1. Sad but true and a wake up call for those caught up in the religious machinery with all its treadmill trappings and relational emptiness.

    The day I got off the treadmill I found myself an outcast with the ‘in’ people but blessed with greater friendship with God and my relationship changed with other people for the better.

    Jesus came and was ignored by the religious machinery and found friendship with people who were considered nobodies in religious circles.

    Nothings changes as religion (root word – to restrict or bind) goes on blindly BUT GOD is shaking all things to see what is genuine and what is not of him.

    1. Hi Sean,
      Did you get your stolen car replaced? Now and then I remember and pray that God will provide your need (a car) somehow through his people. Hope your family is well.

  2. Muy bueno! I have always loved this story in 1 Samuel and love what you have to share here about this passage. A few years ago I blogged about his passage here with some of my own personal experiences with this passage.

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