Davids Brethren 1 Sam. 22:1 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When Davids brethren knew that he had escaped to the cave Adullam, they went down to him along with other men who were in distress, in debt and discontented. This is surprising when you consider Eliab’s anger against David in 1 Sam 17:28. Undoubtedly Eliab’s wrath against his brother was precipitated by the fact that Eliab was the eldest and David was the youngest and yet it was David who had been anointed by Samuel to be king in the midst of his brethren [1 Sam 16:13]. That generally doesn’t sit too well with an older brother.
As a matter of fact, there are a couple of other instances in the Bible where brothers opposed God’s choice in their family. Joseph’s brothers envied him [Gen 37:11] and it’s harder to stand against envy that it is to stand against anger [Prov 27:3-4]. They wanted to kill him [Gen 37:18] and ended up selling him into slavery, instead [Gen 37:26-27]. Jesus’ brothers were against him, as well [Jn 7:3-5] – they didn’t believe in him.
And yet in each of these three instances, circumstances changed and the brothers came around to appreciate the brother against whom they were opposed. In this lesson we’ll look at two things. First, we’ll see what David, Joseph and Jesus did about their brothers’ opposition. Second, we’ll see what it was that brought their brothers around.
What David, Joseph and Jesus did about their brothers’ opposition:
They went right on with their lives – Eliab really put David down in 1 Sam 17:28 and David simply replied, “Is there not a cause?” Then “he turned from him to another,” 1 Sam 17:30. In other words David didn’t bother trying to argue with his brother – he didn’t fret – he didn’t let it bother him in the least – he went right on with the task at hand to kill Goliath – and after that he went to work fighting battles for Saul – if Eliab had never come around it was not going to affect David in the least – and yet Eliab did come around and joined David in the cave along with the rest of his brothers.
Joseph certainly went on with his life. He became an extremely faithful servant to Potiphar and then the top “trustee” in the prison. When he finally was released he served Pharaoh and Egypt faithfully. You know that Joseph had put all the trouble with his brothers behind him by the way that he named his children [Gen 41:51-52]. And lo and behold, his brothers showed up and he received them graciously when they did [Gen 45:4-5].
Jesus certainly went on with his ministry and admitted that the most difficult people to convince are family members [Mk 6:4]. Yet he didn’t fret – he didn’t quit – he didn’t stop everything to try to reconcile with them – he didn’t change to make himself more acceptable to them – he just went on. And oddly, in time, they came around to him because they were in the upper room in Acts 1:14 and Jesus’ brother, James, was the head of the council in Acts 15:13; Gal 1:19.
If your family is against you for following Jesus then you just need to keep on going for Jesus. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to back up to appease them. And you will never end up accomplishing what God has called you to do. Stay the course, don’t fret, don’t quit and just recognize that God’s choice is often opposed by his or her own family members.
What God did to bring their brothers around:
God worked out some circumstances in the lives of each of these families to eventually bring the brothers around to appreciate the choice that God had made. In David’s case he allowed them to become riddled with debt, distress and discontentment so that they were ready for David to start running things. They had seen all of Saul they wanted. And they could see the great blessings of God in David’s life, something that was obviously missing in Saul’s. The Spirit of God was evident in David’s life and the evil spirit was evident in Saul’s life.
In Joseph’s case, the Lord sent a famine in the land of Canaan as well as Egypt, forcing the boys to go down to Egypt to buy corn. The Lord had promoted Joseph by this time, after a long stretch of humbling him. Joseph’s brothers gladly bowed down to him when they realized that he could save their lives. What a remarkable turn of events.
In Jesus’s case, God raised him from the dead and proved that all he had been preaching was perfect. The brothers knew him better than anyone else and knew that they could find no fault in him either. Furthermore, they knew that he had to be the Messiah. Can you imagine what would have happened if Jesus had just sat down and cried because his brothers didn’t believe in him?
Conclusion: So, don’t fret when you have opposition at home. Stay the course and let God work out the circumstances, if he so desires, to bring your family in line with his plans for your life rather than bringing you into line with their plans!!