12 Weeks of Prayer Week 12 Day 2
GOD'S GLORY SHOWN IN HIS VICTORY
By Rev. Dr. Teresa Allissa Citro
“When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.'” -1 Samuel 17:28
God was about to do an incredible miracle using David. However, Eliab couldn’t see it. He was too busy burning with anger. I’m the kind of person who asks questions. I ask myself or those with me lots of questions. I’m not asking to find out personal information because I’m nosy. I ask because I need to understand the intent of the heart. You see, the heart is known to deceive. Eliab here clearly reveals what’s in him.
So, I ask, “Eliab, your youngest brother just arrived to bring you food. To check on you and the rest of the brothers. He brought provisions for you. He took the journey alone. He’s a boy compared to you, a man. Why are you so rude, unappreciative, and mean? What are you really angry about?”
Eliab is too quick to make accusations and assumptions. Let me be very clear. The fastest way to destroy yourself is to accuse and assume. There was a hand, a very strong hand on David’s shoulder. It was the hand of Almighty God. David didn’t bring himself there. God sent him with a plan and a purpose. It was to fight against the biggest man ever to live on this earth, to beat a very strong army the Philistines, and take him to his rightful place, the next King of Israel. Eliab, was out of order and out of line. He wasn’t coming against David. He was coming against the very will, plans, and purposes of God.
In addition, Eliab makes fun of David by referring to the amount of sheep he was taking care of. “To whom did you leave those few sheep with?” You want to attack a man in every possible way? Tell him how small his business is! Eliab was rude beyond comprehension. He was condescending, disrespectful, unappreciative, and jealous. That’s right, jealous.
If you read just above, you will find the Prophet Samuel anointing David as the next King of Israel. You find a very scary remark made by God concerning him. When Samuel saw Eliab, he thought God meant him to be the next king. But God said, “Not Eliab, I have rejected him.” Oh my God, every time I read those words spoken by God, it terrifies me. You see, God knew exactly who Eliab was. He knew the kind of man he was. He knew his heart. He was rejected. Therefore, he tries to put down David, and publicly, nevertheless. It’s very interesting. He cuts him down right in front of the very army David was soon to lead.
Let me share how I know David just didn’t have a few sheep he was taking care of. Allow me to give you a little lesson on cheese making. Yes, my mom taught me how to make homemade cheese. I don't think there’s nothing my mom can’t do. Also, when my son was born, he wanted a dog. My dad got him an entire petting zoo. If you were friends with me on Facebook, you would remember we had sheep, goats, cows, chickens, ducks, roosters, and even a pig. They were our pets. Hey, I’m Italian we do things a bit differently. Expensive pets. The Veterinarian came once a month to check them, give them shots, etc. Not to mention, the wool shearing guy who came for their, “Haircuts.”
All this to help you understand this was hard work with loving tender care. A shepherd knows his sheep. And I saw it with my own eyes how our few sheep knew my dad’s voice. They wouldn’t come to anyone but him. So, when Eliab says, “Few sheep,” It’s not true. They weren’t just a few. A sheep by average gives about half a gallon of milk per day. To make one pound of cheese you need 3 half gallons. In addition, you can only get milk if the sheep gave birth. So, you understand you have to have lots of sheep to make serious amounts of cheese. Jesse just had sent 10 cheeses to the captain of the regiment. I assure you that it wasn't only one pound each. Eliab's point was to make him feel worthless.
Next, he went straight to judge his heart. He told David, “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is.” Really? That’s not how God described David. Years later God tells David, “You are a man after my own heart.” Wow, God! God Almighty, The Great I Am, identifies Himself with a mere moral’s heart and that of David’s. I often wonder, did God say that to David remembering the hurtful words spoken by David’s brother? God has a way to heal our hearts like no other. You can’t be a Shepherd if you're mean spirited. Sheep are very demanding. They test your patience. You have to have a loving heart to lead them. Do you get my point?
In this story, we can also see how someone can come with negative and hurtful words to try and destroy someone’s destiny. Like I said, God was sending David to that battleground because God had chosen David as the man who would lead Israel to victory and later becoming one of the greatest Kings to ever rule.
It was Eliab's heart that was conceited, wicked, and evil. God Himself had rejected Eliab. Yet, he tried to tear down, humiliate, intimidate, and embarrass his own brother. Even knowing the anointing and calling of God was upon his brother. So many lessons to learn in one horrible statement made by a rejected man.
I want to remind all those who had evil words spoken over them. Reject, ignore, and rebuke every word that you heard from the mouths of wicked, evil, and negative people. David, ignored his brother and reminded himself whom He served. He served the God who couldn’t and wouldn’t fail. His trust was in God, and catch this clearly, he had a heart after God. God knew it, and no brother, father, commander, ruler, child, leader, or king could stop David from becoming King.
May the words we speak be according to those God would find pleasing. May the words we utter bring healing, restoration, and comfort. May we speak as wise people. May we never assume and judge another person’s heart because of our own insecurities and jealousies. May we have hearts like David, not Eliab. May God elevate us and not reject us.
David hadn’t come to “just watch the battle.” He was sent to win the battle. God showcased David. God elevated, promoted, and gave him honor. Eliab had to eat and swallow the bitter, angry, and mean-spirited words. No giant was going to win. Glory to God. You shall win your battles, too, God's way which is with honor, respect, and integrity.
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