1 A maskil of David, while he was in the cave. A prayer.
mas-KEEL l’-da-VID bih-yo-TO va-m’-a-RAH t’-fi-LAH
א מַשְׂכִּיל לְדָוִד בִּהְיוֹתוֹ בַמְּעָרָה תְפִלָּה׃
142:1 While he was in the cave
As recorded in Sefer Shmuel I 22, David runs for his life, escaping to a cave in Adulam. There, instead of solitude and fear, he finds compatriots and begins to build an army. Perhaps this prayer spurs a new resolve within him, not to be depressed or paralyzed by fear. The Bible speaks of 400 men who gathered in front of David, each one bitter and depressed, each without will or direction (ibid., verse 2). Prayer can serve as a great unifier. It can give desperate people hope, help them focus on new goals and instill with them lofty ideals. The prayer leader, David, is inspired by this group and begins his path towards self-determination, and ultimately towards the monarchy itself. From a dark, dank, cave emerges a spark, a spirit, a king of Israel.