"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
November 9, 2016
Once upon a time, Israel demanded that they have a king like all the surrounding nations, so God gave them their desire. Saul was anointed king. At first, all went well, until Saul started disobeying God. The time came when God rejected Saul as king; in fact, scripture says that the Lord was sorry that He had ever made Saul king of Israel.
Afterwards, Samuel mourned constantly for Saul. Then one day, the Lord said to Samuel, "You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king."
So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived in Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. "What's wrong? Do you come in peace?" Samuel told them that he had come to sacrifice to the Lord. Then he performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at the oldest son, Eliab, and thought, "Surely this is the Lord's anointed!" But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Seven of Jesse's sons were presented to Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen any of these." Then Samuel asked, "Are these all the sons you have?"
"There is still the youngest," Jesse replied. "But he's out in the field watching the sheep and goats." Samuel asked that he be sent for at once. He instructed that the other seven sons not sit down to eat until this youngest son arrived. So Jesse sent for him.
I'm sure that it took a while for David to arrive, for he was out in the field tending his father's sheep. It may have taken a while for someone to find exactly where he and the sheep were. He may have had to find another shepherd to watch the herd for him, while he went home; or perhaps he had to drive all the sheep and goats into a pen so that they would be safe while he was away. I don't know how much time lapsed, but however long it was, his brothers couldn't sit down and eat while they waited for their little brother to show up.
That must have been a hard pill for those seven brothers to swallow; knowing that they had been rejected by the prophet, then having to stand there and wait for their baby brother to show up. I wonder if their thoughts were along the lines of, "There's no way that snot-nosed kid will be chosen by the prophet!" or "Sure! David is the favored one -- the baby! He always gets whatever he wants!" or "I wonder if Samuel has the wrong house or misheard God? Surely, one of us would be chosen over David!"
David walked in and the Lord told Samuel, "This is the one; anoint him!"
So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil that he had brought and anointed David with the oil. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on.
I get the impression that David's brothers didn't truly understand, respect, or honor Samuel anointing David with the oil. Instead, it seems as if jealousy, at least in his oldest brother, rises up. Soon thereafter, David went to live in the palace in order to play his harp to soothe King Saul. That must have been another thorn in their sides, to have their little shepherd brother, being chosen to live in the palace and play for the king. Perhaps, their animosity and anger and jealousy increased and built over the years; becoming greater each time David was shown favor.
David's oldest brother is mentioned only one more time in scripture. Jesse's three oldest brothers had joined Saul's army to fight the Philistines. For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.
One day, Jesse said to David, "Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. Give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing."
So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as his father had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. Soon the Israelite and Philistine armies stood facing one another. David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. As he was talking to them, Goliath came out and shouted his taunts to the army of Israel. As soon as they saw him, the Israelite army began to run away in fright. David began asking a nearby soldier questions about what the reward was for killing this giant.
David's oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men and he became very angry. "What are you doing around here anyway? What about those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!"
Eliab belittled David's position and responsibility as a shepherd, by insinuating that he only looked after a few sheep. David was there, at that specific time, in obedience to his father. Jesse was likely worried about his three oldest sons, so had requested that David go and check on them and take them food. Eliab didn't even acknowledge that fact! Instead, he accused David of being there, just to see the battle. He accused his little brother of having pride and deceit.
"What have I done now?" David replied. "I was only asking a question!"
That's a typical sibling reply! Perhaps, David was used to his older brothers falsely accusing him or putting blame on him for things that he hadn't done. David may have felt that no matter what he did, his brothers were going to find something wrong with it. "What have I done now?!"
David goes on to defeat Goliath; and many years later becomes king of Israel.
Many years prior to this, there was another young man, named Joseph, who had older brothers who were jealous of him. Joseph didn't help himself any by telling his brothers about his dreams of them bowing down to him! I'm sure that there were many times when he felt like he could do nothing right, as far as his big brothers were concerned. They even went so far as to sell him into slavery, then lying to their father about it; telling him that Joseph had been killed.
Here's the difference in the outcome of these two stories:
Joseph eventually achieved a high government position in Egypt, only Pharaoh having more authority than him. When famine hit the land, his brothers came in order to try and get food for their family, not realizing that Joseph was the man that they would be dealing with. Through a series of events, Joseph was reconciled to his brothers and his father. His family move to Egypt, and their relationship to Joseph was fully restored.
Not only was the family reunited and there was complete forgiveness, but Pharaoh told Joseph, "Tell your brothers to get your father and all of your families, and return to me. I will give you the very best land in Egypt, and you will eat from the best the land produces. Don't worry about your personal belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours." Later, once all Jacob and all his descendants had arrived in Egypt, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for your family to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. If any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too."
In the story of David, his brothers are never mentioned again, after this battle between Israel and the Philistines, where a young David killed Goliath. During all those years when David was fleeing from Saul, who desperately wanted to kill him, his brothers were not there to fight alongside him and to try and protect him. When David and his band of men were hiding out in caves, his brothers weren't there. When Saul and Jonathan die, and David finally becomes king, his brothers aren't there.
Eliab was a soldier in Saul's army. He had military experience. Had he chosen to support and respect David's position, then it could have been life-changing for him. Perhaps David would have appointed him, or one of his other older brothers, as captain of his army. He could have placed his brothers in positions of leadership and power. They could have lived in the king's palace, eaten at the king's table, had they chosen honor over jealousy. They could have enjoyed the best that the land had to offer.
As I stated previously, scripture never mentions David's brothers again. I believe that had they been by David's side, or had they been placed in key positions, or had they given David support, then they would have been mentioned in David's story. Instead, they are never heard of again throughout scripture.
Our attitude can make a huge difference in the outcome of our life! When someone experiences blessing or promotion or has a big dream, we can either react with jealousy or with support and encouragement. Even though Joseph's brothers did wrong and then lied to their father, when they had the chance to repent and ask their brother for forgiveness, they did so. That heartfelt sorrow ended with them being given the very best that the land of Egypt had to offer. After that, they shared in Joseph's story.
On the other hand, I'm not sure if David had a relationship with his brothers once he left home. His brothers' jealousy may have prevented them from enjoying everything that they could have had.
Only we can choose our attitude! Will we get rid of unforgiveness, when necessary, like Joseph's brothers, or will we be like David's brothers and allow jealousy and bitterness to reside in our heart? Look at the outcome of their lives! It will be the same for us; our attitude and what we keep in our heart will affect our future!!
I've heard a lot of people who have some grudge in their family say, "Well, I'm sure I could get over it if they would just ask for my forgiveness." Maybe David's brothers said the same thing. But as far as we can tell from the Bible's account, there wasn't anything David should ask forgiveness for. And I'm sure that was true for most of the people I heard saying they wanted to be asked for forgiveness.
The problem is, even if someone really does owe us an apology, they may not know it. It is far easier to recognize an occasion where we think we deserve an apology than it is to recognize an occasion where we owe one.
So, if you catch yourself stewing because someone won't apologize, stop and try to count any apologies you owe.
Inside Out Hostess Cake
1 Devils Food Cake Mix
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.
For the whipping cream: pour the 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend the ingredients until it forms stiff peaks.
For the ganache: pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1-2 minutes, until it's hot. Add the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla. Keep stirring it with a whisk, until it turns into a silky smooth dark chocolate.
To assemble: First, pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake (reserve 1/4 of the chocolate to drizzle on top of the cake). Next, spread the whipping cream mixture on top of the ganache, and smooth it out to cover the entire cake. Lastly, take a spoon and dip it in the remaining chocolate ganache and drizzle it on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
My niece-in-law was talking to her niece (who is no relation to me) a while back and asked her if there were any cute boys in her class at school. Her niece said, "NO WAY!! Five of them are idiots, four of them are nerds, and the rest of them don't even know math!!"
Just because some people are fueled by drama,
doesn't mean you have to attend the performance -- Cheryl Richardson
We love you!
Loretta & Jon