…but a shepherd boy!

1 Samuel 17:28, “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 desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

I can imagine the scene in my head – older brother scolding the younger – “Go away! What are you but a shepherd boy! Go tend to your sheep, BRAT!”

But David was on a mission for God. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites occupied the other. A champion warrior named Goliath from Gath taunted the Israelites. The Bible tells us he was 9 feet tall!  “He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.” (This guy is one bad CAT and nobody wants to deal with him!) Goliath shouted to the Israelites for someone brave enough to come and fight him. If the Israelite wins, the Philistines will be subject to them; but, if he wins, the Israelites will become subject to the Philistines. Saul and his army were terrified. Nobody wanted to take this guy on, and I can’t say I don’t blame them.

David is the youngest of eight boys belonging to Jesse from Bethlehem – three of the sons are in Saul’s army, Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah. For 40 days the taunting had been constant, and daily Saul could not produce someone to fight Goliath. Jesse sent his son David to bring his boys food. When David arrives, it is early morning and he hears the words of Goliath.

Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  David asks the men.

Eliab, his older brother, overhears the questions and angered by David, attempts to get rid of him. But David hears a word from God. David knows Who he serves. His God can defeat this uncircumcised Philistine!

Some of us can be Eliab’s in other’s lives. The negative, “you can’t do it!” “get out-of-the-way!” “you are incapable!” voices which interfere in the plans God has for people. Some of us don’t want to defeat the giants in our lives because we don’t believe we can.

And then, some of us listen to the Eliab’s of our lives. We listen to those who are the nay-sayers and we buy into the doubt of our abilities to do all things through a mighty, powerful God.

Which are you?

God has a purpose for every one of us. He has a plan. He needs to use our abilities to benefit His Kingdom; but, first and foremost, we have to tune our hearing into Him. Selective hearing – directed toward the Word of God – removes the Eliab’s of our lives. Pray today about what God needs you to do. Ask Him to remove the voices of Eliab in your life.


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