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AWRIGHT DEN: Lessons from David (2)

COREY WORRELL, [email protected]

AWRIGHT DEN: Lessons from David (2)

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TODAY I WANT to take a look into David’s family (1 Samuel 17). The prophet Samuel had just communicated to Saul that as a result of his disobedience, God had rejected him and he would no longer be king. God then sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king He had chosen.

On arrival, Samuel told Jesse to assemble his sons. The first to be presented was Eliab, who was handsome, tall, strong and the firstborn, but he didn’t find favour in God’s sight, although Samuel was certain he was the one. Of all seven sons that were presented, Samuel said, “God has not chosen these”, so he asked Jesse if he had any other sons. Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel sent for him and told Jesse no one will sit down until he arrived. When David arrived, the Lord said to Samuel, “Rise and anoint him. He is the one”.

Sometime after, Israel was at war with the Philistines, who sent out Goliath to represent them. One day, Jesse sent some food by David to his three eldest sons who were in the war. When David arrived he saw the Israelites running in fear from Goliath and inquired from the men what was going on. When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger and asked: “Why have you come down here? Who you left those few sheep with?”

David replied: “Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” He then turned away and continued speaking with the men. Eventually Saul heard what David was asking and saying, sent for him and allowed him to fight Goliath, whom he defeated.

Lesson A: Rejection by family doesn’t mean rejection by God. Not one of David’s brothers, or his father, even thought to consider him to be presented to Samuel. Just like David, you might be that family member who was forgotten as a child; that no one thought would amount to anything. God chose David, the forgotten, and He can choose you too.

Lesson B: Image ain’t everything. When Eliab was presented, Samuel thought he was the one because he shared the same physical characteristics of the former king, Saul (1 Samuel 9:2). God replied: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

You may not be the prettiest daughter or the most athletic son or the most talented and brightest child, but once you have the right heart, God can use you. The world focuses on appearance and ability but God focuses on character and availability. I am not the most talented writer, neither did I do well in English at school, but God chose to use me; He can do the same for you.

Lesson C: Overcome criticism and live by your convictions.

“When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him . . . .” (1 Samuel 17:28)

Why would David’s brother criticise him publicly and have so much anger towards him? Could it be because Eliab was the first to be rejected by Samuel; they all had to stand and wait until David arrived and then he was the one to be anointed king. Jealousy and pride were conceived in Eliab’s heart and birthed anger, which fed the criticism.

1 Samuel 17:29: “Now what have I done? said David. Can’t I even speak?” This response from David reveals that this wasn’t the first time he was attacked or criticised but it didn’t stop him.

1 Samuel 17: 30, 31 – He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

All criticism isn’t bad so you must be able to discern whether it is said to correct you or to immobilise and distract you. David ignored his brother, remained focus and as a result, received great wealth and honour – the king’s daughter and his family (including Eliab) were exempted from paying taxes. Maybe there are some people you need to ignore also in order to fulfil your goals.

Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth youth ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email [email protected]

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