Peter Horrobin

Founder & International Director of Ellel Ministries

Devotional Message | The ‘Giant’ of Family Opposition

1 Samuel 17:28, NIV
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? …I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…”

When we look at the story of David and Goliath we could remember it as a story we heard as children at Sunday school, but I believe that there is much God wants to say through it. First of all, there were some huge ‘giants’ David had to slay before he got to Goliath. He had to slay the ‘giant’ of family opposition.

David was sent to the battlefield by his father to bring back news of the three eldest sons. They had been sent to fight the Philistines under King Saul. Eliab, the eldest son, had been overlooked in the selection of the next king. David had been anointed instead. Here we see an explosion from Eliab at David as ‘he burned with anger at him!’ He was jealous and angry, and verbally attacked David. David might have been hoping for affirmation from his eldest brother. But after this angry outburst he could have been so devastated that he went straight home – and then he would never have got as far as confronting Goliath!

Eliab said, ‘I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is!’ It seems that when people falsely accuse one another, it’s the very area where they themselves are guilty! God looks on the heart and He chose David. God obviously didn’t think David’s heart was wicked.

The verbal tirade which came out of Eliab’s mouth illustrated what Jesus taught us – ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ It was Eliab’s heart which was sinful, not David’s. How would you have responded to that? If there had been any self rejection in David and he had been insecure in any way, doubt would have crept into his heart. He wouldn’t have been able to handle it if Eliab’s approval had been important to him.

But David simply dismissed the false accusation and turned away to speak to someone else. He didn’t allow the poisonous dart to land. He wasn’t distracted by the missile attack of words. He wasn’t held back from the purposes of God by family opposition.

How about us? When God’s calling us to take a further step forward into His purposes for our life, the enemy will often strike. Don’t allow those close to you in your family, whether it’s your natural or spiritual family, to keep you paralysed. Don’t listen to those who bully you by trying to make you feel inferior. Don’t waste time being distracted by them, because there’s a real ‘giant’ ahead of you which you need to defeat.

Don’t bow to the ‘giant’ of other people’s opinions. The enemy may be using people to intimidate you and prevent you going to a higher level with God. Rejoice, because of what God knows about you and what He says to you, and be obedient to that.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me not to be held back by fear of what other people think. Help me to be a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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