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Sunday, April 19 2015
Psalm 142: The Prayers Of The Cave Men
"Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave"
The English-language word "cave" originated from the Latin word, cavus, that meant "a hollow place in the Earth." The words cavern, cavity and cage all originated from the same word.
"Cave" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced meh-aw-raw, that meant dark, as in a cavern.
Caves occur naturally by forces of erosion and geologic movement. Many caves are recorded in Bible history - and prophecy.
While fearing that more blasts were coming after escaping the destruction of Sodom (see Fire And Brimstone Upon Sodom And Gomorrah), Lot sought refuge in a cave with his two surviving daughters (see Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?).
"19:30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters." (Genesis 19:30 KJV)
The tomb in Hebron that today contains the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah was originally a natural cave that was purchased by Abraham as a grave for Sarah (see Sarah's Cave; also Jacob's Mummy).
"23:19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. 23:20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth." (Genesis 23:19-20 KJV)
During the times of the Judges (see The Rise Of The Judges), when the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God) permitted Israel's enemies to prevail over them because of their unfaithfulness to the LORD, the Israelites abandoned their homes and took refuge in caves throughout the land.
"6:2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds." (Judges 6:2 KJV)
During the evil time of Jezebel (see The End Of The Line For Ahab And Jezebel), some of the prophets of the LORD sought refuge in caves.
"18:4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)" (1 Kings 18:4 KJV)
During that same time, Elijah journeyed to Mount Sinai and took refuge in a cave where Moses also was sheltered during his time on the Mountain (see Elijah's Journey To Mount Sinai).
"19:8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
So too, over the centuries the LORD's true people were driven from their homes into wilderness areas where they sometimes took shelter in caves.
"11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (Hebrews 11:36-38 KJV)
The tables will be turned however in the days of the Messiah's return. The armies of defiant mankind who attempt to fight the LORD will flee to their bunkers and caves. On that day, their strutting arrogance will be replaced with screams for mercy (see What Does Mercy Really Mean?).
"2:17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 2:18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish. 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth." (Iaaiah 2:17-19 KJV)
King David also had many experiences with caves. He sought refuge there, not to run from a fight, but to keep from harming the enemy king (see the Fact Finder question below). He prayed to the LORD for deliverance - that surely came in due time.
"142:1 Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.
Fact Finder: What happened at the Cave of the Wild Goats during the Civil War?
This Day In History, April 19
65: Milichus betrayed Piso's plot to assassinate the Emperor Nero (see also Nero's Torches).
531: The Battle of Callinicum. A Byzantine army under the command of Belisarius was defeated by the Persians (Persia is today known as Iran) at Ar-Raqqah in northern Syria.
1012: Aelfheah, the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by Danes who had been ravaging the south of England.
1529: In Germany at the Diet of Spires (Speyer), a document signed by Lutheran leaders lodged a "protest" that demanded freedom of religion and the right of minorities. From then on, the German Lutheran Reformers were known as "Protestants."
1539: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Truce of Frankfurt with rebellious Protestant princes (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1587: English Admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet, an action he referred to "as singeing the king of Spain's beard."
1689: Queen Christina of Sweden died. Queen from 1644-54, she gave up the throne because of her secret conversion to Roman Catholicism, which was outlawed in Sweden.
1713: Holy Roman emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, giving women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.
1770: Captain James Cook sighted the eastern coast of what is now Australia.
1770: Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI of France.
1802: The Spanish reopened the port of New Orleans to U.S. merchants (the U.S. then consisted of the former New England colonies).
1809: The Battles of Abensberg-Eckmuhl began. Over the next 4 days, a series of defeats for Austria, which cost it the support of other German states in the 1809 campaign against Napoleon. The battles were fought in Bavaria between 190,000 Austrians under Archduke Charles and 176,000 French and allied troops under Napoleon.
1839: The Treaty of London was signed, establishing recognition of the new Kingdom of Belgium, which had separated from the Netherlands, by all the states of Europe.
1850: The Clayton-Bulwer agreement was signed under which Britain and the U.S. agreed not to obtain exclusive control of a proposed Panama Canal (the U.S. later did anyway).
1882: Charles Darwin, English naturalist who developed the theory of evolution, died (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1906: Pierre Curie, French chemist and physicist, was run over and killed in Paris. With his wife, Marie, he had made numerous discoveries involving magnetism and radioactivity.
1933: President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation removing the U.S. from the gold standard - in effect, money became nothing more than printed paper with "nothing to back it up," which enabled governments to print as much money as they wanted, thereby reducing its declared value even more each time.
1938: General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi occupation began.
1954: The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan proclaimed Urdu and Bengali as the official national languages of Pakistan.
1971: The launch of the first space station, the Russian Salyut 1.
1989: A gun turret exploded on the USS Iowa; 47 sailors were killed.
1993: Over 80 members of the "Branch Davidian" group, including their leader David Koresh, died when U.S. federal agents stormed their compound in Waco, Texas after a 51 day siege.
1995: The worst act of terrorism in U.S. territory (until September 11 2001, if one doesn't include the many documented incidents of genocide of native American men, women and children through the 1800s) occurred when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by the terrorist Timothy McVeigh (a white, "Christian," U.S. Army veteran who demonstrated that anyone can be a "terrorist"). 168 people, including infants, were killed.
1999: The German Bundestag (Parliament) returned to Berlin, the first German parliamentary body to meet there since the Nazi Reichstag was dissolved in 1945.
2005: After the death of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope of the Church of Rome. The new Pope assumed the name Benedict XVI.
2011: Due to illness and old age, Fidel Castro resigned from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee. He held the office for 45 years.