2020 was a year described by one word, PANDEMIC. All that transpired during the year left most people desiring to put the year into the cave they were plunged into and try to forget it. We do not know what this year holds for us. Who knows, this year could be worse. It seems that we are being more and more isolated. When our country was shut down for months and our churches were told to close, many stated that it seemed we were living in caves.
It was a difficult time. It was a new experience for so many. Many did not know how to deal with living in a cave. The Lord reminded me that His people have often been forced, by circumstances beyond their control, to resort to caves. The Bible holds many exciting, adventurous, as well as troubling accounts of cavemen and their caves. God put many of His choice servants in caverned classrooms to make them "approved unto God." There were great men and women mentioned with their caves such as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, Gideon, Jonathan, Moses, Elijah, Lazarus, Obadiah and many more. Thus, I began a series of messages to encourage our people on "How to Behave in the Cave." This series lasted even after we were able to hold services again.
The list of caves used in this book is not exhaustive. Several others could have been used and perhaps you will be encouraged to explore others that I have not used in this study. There are 13 lessons in this book which are intended to give some encouragement to patiently endure and transform your cave into a Caverned Classroom. A good student will not only gain insight and instruction from the Master Teacher, but hopefully will help others to become adequate spelunkers. One word of caution however, is that there are no two caves alike. You must not judge another's cave experience by your own. Caves come in all sizes, depths and dangers. Some people have entered a mole tunnel and described it as Mammoth Cave!
I was encouraged by my study to discover that no cave that was mentioned in the Bible was permanent. Though you may find your cave to be necessary, don't feel that it is permanent. Though you may feel isolated, many of the Cavemen of the Bible found the presence of God and came out with the Glory of God upon them. David named one of his caves, "Under the Shadow of Thy Wings." Another warning is needed here. David also called one of his caves a "prison."
If you are in a cave, be sure it is God who put you there. Many cave dwellers of the Bible resorted to caves out of cowardice, rather than courage and fear, rather than faith. Accept God's timing and teaching. Remember, we will stand shoulder to shoulder to some of the greatest cavemen and women at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I want us to have a good day that day!
32-And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33-Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34-Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35-Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36-And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
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;
38-(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39-And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40-God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.