by John Barnett

This content is part of a series.

David's Emotional Breakdown: When Overwhelmed David Fled to the Lord (6 of 22)
Series: The Life of David
John Barnett
I Samuel 21:13-15,Psalm 34

We have all heard of people who have gone through complete emotional or mental breakdowns, but few of us have ever actually witnessed one as it happened. The good news is that God recorded the "before, during, and after" of the emotional and physical breakdown David experienced.

This sad but instructive event is captured flawlessly and in amazing detail. As we open to I Samuel 21:13 David hit the bottom, overwhelmed by life, sinking into fear, and trapped by his choices, he melts down.

This may be the single most humiliating and desperate moment of David's life. Follow along with me as we see what happens when even great servants of the Lord get overwhelmed by their trouble and trials.

So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, "Look, you see the man is insane. Why have you brought him to me? Have I need of madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?" (1 Samuel 21:13-15).

When life unexpectedly overwhelms us and we feel we can't go on and we feel all alone-what do we do? David faced that as well as so many of God's faithful servants through the years. Just because we love and serve the Lord doesn't mean we miss the storms and skids of life. God's Word tells us that:

David Bottomed Out
In His Life

Remember the context of these gravest hours in the life of David? Look back a few verses to v. 10.

1 Samuel 21:10-13 Then David arose and fled that day from before Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, "Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying: 'Saul has slain his thousands, And Dav ...

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