John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Palace

David had been anointed by Samuel, employed by King Saul, defeated Goliath, embraced by the people. They wrote songs about him. Everything he touched turned to gold. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the palace. He lost everything.

He's been promoted from shepherd to court musician to officer in the army. But then Saul became jealous, threw a spear at him (you think you've got problems with your boss), and David disappeared. No job, no income, no security. He goes from being an officer to being a fugitive.

He married Saul's daughter Michal, but Saul sends some hit men to kill David. Michal helped David escape but is captured by her father. Eventually Saul has her marry someone else. Now David has no job and no wife.

He runs to Ramah where his mentor Samuel lives. Samuel -- you'll remember -- is the guy who started this whole thing by anointing David and telling him that he would be the next king. David seems to have been perfectly content out there with the sheep until Samuel pulled him in for the big family meeting. Still, David knew Samuel was a safe person -- knew Samuel spoke for God. But Saul heard about it and sent soldiers to Ramah. Now David has to make another escape. Samuel is old and cannot go with him. Shortly after this, Samuel dies. David has lost his job, his wife and now his mentor.

He runs to his best friend Jonathan -- the one person David could trust with everything -- the one person who knew David better than anyone else. Jonathan stood up to his father (Saul) and risked his life for David. But Jonathan couldn't leave the court and go with David. He couldn't raise a sword against his own father. So David has to run once more, and now he's lost his best friend.

Eventually, David runs to the Philistine city of Gath. He's lost his home and has nowhere to go but to his enemies. They don't trust him, and he ends up in the cave of Adullum surrounded by people who were in distress, in debt or just discontented.

He was on his way to the palace. He was expecting to take his seat on the throne. He had wealth, power, beauty, fame, friends, security and what he thought was a guaranteed future.

Now his life is one big mess. No money, no home, no friends, no job, no advisors. He's running for his life. He expected a palace and ended up in a cave. He doesn't have an explanation why this has happened. He doesn't have any word when it will be over. He doesn't even know if it will ever be over.

So, what do you do when you find yourself in a cave? When all your props and crutches -- everything that's been holding you up -- all the scaffolding is torn down? When you thought you were going to do great things, have a great family, be a great person, but things haven't worked out the way you planned -- what do you do now?