Memo 1126: Family Life
David was a hero to many in his day and is still the champion of the nation of Israel. Yet it's interesting that he was never a champion in his own family. When we first meet David, Samuel was looking for one of Jesse's sons to anoint to serve as the next king because God told him he would find him there. Yet after Samuel found each of David's seven brothers unacceptable, he had to ask Jesse if he had any more sons. It's as if Jesse had to be reminded he had one more, which seems quite odd:
And Samuel said to him, “No, the Lord hasn't chosen any of these.” Then he asked him, “Do you have any more sons?” Jesse answered, “There is still the youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep. David was the son of Jesse, who was an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and at the time Saul was king, he was already a very old man” (1 Samuel 16:10-12).
Then later Jesse sent David to check up on his three older brothers who were fighting in the army against Goliath's people. While he was there near the front line, David heard about the reward for anyone who could defeat Goliath and expressed an interest in fighting the giant, only to have to deal with one brother's nasty reaction:
His three oldest sons had gone with Saul to war. Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard David talking to the men. He became angry with David and said, “What are you doing here? Who is taking care of those sheep of yours out there in the wilderness? You smart aleck, you! You just came to watch the fighting!” “Now what have I done?” David asked. “Can't I even ask a question?” (1 Samuel 17:12, 28-29).
When David asked, "Now what have I done?" it seems that his brothers were in the habit of fussing at David, accusing him of things he didn't do.
The point in all this is that sometimes those closest to you can't see or won't accept who you are or what God's purpose is for your life. Even Jesus' family didn't see or understand His purpose. Your family can think they know you well, which includes all your mistakes and weaknesses, so they can't or sometimes refuse to acknowledge the other side of you. Like David, sometimes those outside your family can better understand you for who you are and can then encourage you to continue to grow in those areas.
If you find yourself in that situation, don't be angry or bitter, for one day, God may use you and your purpose to help your family, which is what happened later in David's life: "David went on from there to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, 'Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I find out what God is going to do for me'" (1 Samuel 22:3). Yet not one of David's brothers served David when he became king, so the brothers never seemed to be close throughout their lives.
The important thing is that you become clear as to what God wants for your life, just like David was for his. Then once you have that vision of your future, hold on to it and trust God that it will come to pass. Be patient with those who may not see what you see about you, and do your best to stay close and on friendly terms with them. At the same time, your main task in life is to serve and please God and He will reveal to you what His will is if you are interested to know. Have a blessed week!