David Versus Relatives: The Home Test

Setting the stage: As you read the following message, please do so as if you were following along a movie script…the musical ‘score’ is not to a Lawrence Welk or Norah Jones tune…perhaps something more akin to the Lone Ranger theme.

Either way, you get the idea…

Ok, so on his way to take Goliath down, David encounters an obstacle.

Was it a random arrow, like an errant tee shot, that almost thwarted the young “stripling”?

Was it the Medusa of Greek legend?

Was it Legion full of screaming demons?

How about choking pigs?

Balaam’s donkey or ‘Mister Ed’?

Sponge Bob Square Pants?

Homer Simpson?

Bruce Willis?

No, it was none of those.

It was closer to HOME.

Reverend Helm used to say, “The real test is the home test”.

After awhile, I realized that his listeners did not spin it the way that he meant it.

He was fully aware of the opposition in the home, while those steeped in American culture’s self-serving values and criterion wanted to justify the opposition OF the home to God‘s revealed will, which requires “FORSAKING ALL“ and “LOSING OUR LIFE IN THIS WORLD“ in order to preach the Good News of Jesus.

He also commented on how a man of God has to resist what he referenced as “The home call”…the pull of home cares.

That’s right…so now on with our story…

David, God‘s anointed, heard the challenge of Goliath and it stirred up his trusting heart.

While the entire army of backslidden Saul feared, blowing Goliath’s size out of proportion, David saw nothing more than a beast.

To David, the trusting heart, Goliath was no more than a lion or a bear.

And, YES, he opened his MOUTH about it.

The army of Saul had been hearing Goliath’s challenge for days on end.

Now, in an unexpected moment, through an unlikely warrior, they heard something OPPOSITE.

In the eyes of a trusting heart, the great OBSTACLE WAS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO SHOW HIMSELF STRONG.

It was a time that God could demonstrate that He “saves not with sword and spear”.

A time to magnify his NAME above the enemy.

To the credit of King Saul, it seems that he saw in Whom David trusted.

However, Eliab, David’s oldest brother, did not see in Whom David trusted.

Not at all.

Eliab saw pride and a naughty heart, which means an ‘evil’ heart.

Notice that Eliab, THE RELATIVE, used the preferred tactic of almost all relatives and attempted to GUILT THE MAN OF GOD OUT.

Eliab pointed to what he perceived to be NEGLECT OF DUTY, and reminded David of that flock of sheep he had been looking after BACK HOME.

What Eliab didn’t seem to know, or want to acknowledge, was the ORDERS OF JESSIE, THEIR FATHER.

“By order of the Fire Marshal” is posted in buildings and restaurants everywhere.

“By order of Jessie” David was exactly where he was supposed to be, and going about defeating Goliath according to Grace.

Note: He did not go about defeating Goliath according to Eliab, the army, or King Saul.

David rejected the cumbersome armor of one of the tallest men in Israel and kept what he was practiced in, the use of a sling.

How many there are who will accuse me of a wrong spirit!

Wait a minute…

If I am exhorting men to mind God, and ignore the usual guilt trips that controlling relatives attempt to lay on them, who actually possesses a wrong spirit?

To whom shall a man of God be indebted?

To some preacher that some fearful relative quotes who has a lot of good things to say about the ‘home’?

Is not Christ the Head of every man?

Is not the head of the woman the man?

Oh, yes, you want me under authority?

Hmm…let’s see, that’s a big one…okay…tell me this, under whose authority was the apostle Paul?

Peter’s?

James?

Pat Robertson?

Chuck Swindoll?

Charles Stanley?

Or Bishop somebody or another from some country in the world where you have NO IDEA as to how faithful he actually is to anything or anyone?

“Well” you say, “I am a part of his ministry”.

Have you not read your Bible at all?

The apostle Paul cites, within the first few chapters of First Corinthians, that traipsing the trail with such TERRORITORIAL TRIPE is spiritual immaturity that TRIPS.

He says that it is CARNAL.

He clearly points to it and says that it’s WALKING AS MEN OF THE EARTH.

God forbid that men He is now calling to INSTANT RESPONSE AND OBEDIENCE be bound by some bogus, self-proclaiming authority!

Preacher, your oversight involves completing the faith of the saints and not controlling it.

You are to feed from the FELLOWSHIP of faithful men, not FENCE THE FLOCK in some fold far away from the Good Shepherd’s Head.

Yes, on the way to meet Goliath you will run into a RELATIVE.

Sometimes it’s a LARGE THREAT TO THE WILL OF GOD THAT COMES PACKAGED IN A SMALL CHILD, A SON OR DAUGHTER.

Jesus said to FORSAKE THEM and follow Him.

If you FINALLY want to see them saved, then forsake how they look at things, put aside the guilt, and faithfully explain to them that you are God’s servant.

Perhaps God will work in them a heart like David’s?

Yes, Eliab was BLIND as to Who David trusted.

Understand that the entire account is about Who David trusted.

It was never about David’s weaknesses and sins.

The ‘guilt-out-cop-out’ is common among the disobedient and those who resist the Spirit.

Those that believe God owes them something, that they are entitled to your allegiance, preach a version of the Good News that is void of valid victory.

Their affections are ALWAYS BASED IN EARTHLY THINGS, and they trust in false paradigms to achieve or acquire such things that do not end in faith, but in the destruction and power that is DUST.

And they always judge by how THINGS LOOK TO THEM AND OTHERS.

They always work to STALL the horse of obedience, even though their own image bears the FLAWS of a WHORE.

God saw David’s TRUST.

(Off stage we hear Mrs. Snidely saying, “What about Bathsheba?”)

Oh, of course, how could I forget?

David SINNED WITH BATHSHEBA AND ARRANGED TO GET RID OF HER HUSBAND.

Wow…Eliab was right about David after all…gosh…how imprudent of me…gee whiz…not sure what to say to that.

(Fingers tapping the table…doodling…still hearing that Lone Ranger tune…the intensity is hurting my fingers…)

Oh, yes, I have heard this one before.

Some unbelieving spiritual bastard ‘sensed that about him’ or ‘discerned her tendencies’ (and that sounds much more credible, doesn’t it?) and looked away from Jesus, and “called it“ as they “saw it“.

When you judge, you LOOK AWAY FROM JESUS AND IN YOUR MOMENT OF DISTRUST YOU DISGUST GOD!

Ok, maybe you DISAPPOINT him…is that more to your liking?

“Oh, I was so disappointed!” in him, or her, or ‘myself’ when that happened, etc.

IN WHOM DO YOU TRUST?

ACCORDING TO WHAT CRITERIA?

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is chock full of flawed folks full of FAITH.

It is not about their flaws, but about in Whom they trusted.

The scenario surrounding David versus Eliab depicts that there was a War going on.

It shows David as going from man to man, saying, “Is there not a cause?” until it eventually reached the ears of King Saul.

David was not intimidated by Eliab’s anger, accusations, insinuations, persona, demeanor, or ‘guilt trip’.

David IGNORED ELIAB, but he didn’t stop there, HE CONTINUED TO POINT TO TRUSTING GOD.

David’s declaration and demonstration of TRUST finally ROUSED THE ARMY AND ROUTED THE ENEMY.

David was recorded as a man after God’s own heart because of Whom he trusted.

Consider poor old Samson, who is always remembered for his weakness toward women, particularly Delilah, and his great strength, as though it came from him.

However, he is not remembered for judging Israel FAITHFULLY WITHOUT INCIDENT FOR 20 YEARS.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews records Samson’s FAITH.

It reflects that he, along with others of FLAWED character, trusted the Invisible God.

The affections of their faith trusted in the Invisible God.

How about that?

What about you?

What do you have that you did not receive?

And what about the AFFECTIONS OF YOUR FAITH?

Are your faith’s affections earth focused fighting for things and territory?

Or in pursuit of Heavenly desires according to the access that is Christ, feeding from the Passover Lamb Who is “meek and lowly“ in heart?

Are you disrupting the enemy or digging in your high heels?

The first verse of Hebrew’s eleventh chapter depicts a faith that obtains what is UNSEEN AND UNSHAKEABLE.

The apostle said, “If a man sees it, why does he yet hope for it?”

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of THINGS NOT SEEN.” (Hebrews 11:1)

When your faith consists of “Show me the money!” then it is not the faith of those listed in Hebrews.

Why?

Because it is hope and faith in the DUST AND RUST OF LUCRE’S LUST.

(Or could it be lucre’s lust and Lucifer’s lively, toe tapping, move-that-body, “My Milkshake” band?…Uh, oh…what’s that under my foot? Satan’s head?…oh, no…just somebody’s toe…Capable Joe and Emotional Flo, brother and sister in song and soul!)

The scriptures depict Abraham as moving PROACTIVELY ACCORDING TO HIS FAITH IN THE INVISIBLE GOD.

Searching for a Heavenly City whose Builder and Maker is God.

In contrast, how much of American culture Christianity is proactive with a LUST OR DESIRE based on what can be seen?

So…here it is…I’m going to put it in writing…David defeated a lion, a bear, AND A RELATIVE, before beating GOLIATH.

Blood-relatives and close friends need to beware, because from what I have so far discovered in the Bible, those close to God’s heroes presumed upon the relationship and said some pretty stupid things in the face of what God was working.

How about a list of livid relatives?

Hmm…think with me now…there was Miriam, who murmured against Moses because he took an Ethiopian wife and so she was put out of the camp seven days with leprosy…then there was Michael, David’s wife who became barren due to her despising of David’s dance before the Lord…then there were the friends of Job, who should have continued in silence, which would have shortened the Book of Job, and kept them out of trouble with God…and, of course, Job’s wife, who told him to “Curse God and die!”

Yes, Eliab has a rightful place following the lion and the bear as a precluding power resistant to the victory God was about to bring.

Thus, DAVID VERSUS ELIAB.

How little God can do when the relatives are feared, fearful, forceful, fuming, fickle, and inclined to make fun of a faith that follows Him.

They lust and covet, so they see another’s lust as weakness and do not count their own covetousness against themselves, because it comes in the form of financial insulation, rather than the arms of another human being.

That is, they see another’s lust, ignore their pursuit of gold dust, (which is a universally accepted affection), and mock or malign those who, in spite of weakness, accept chastening, and continue to trust God in a tangible way according to a viable connection with the Spirit.

Do you see another’s lust and miss their trust?

The apostle Paul was in FELLOWSHIP with the other apostles, but he did not fear them.

He was an instrument completing the faith, and taking the Good News to the Gentiles, while Peter and the others continued for a SHORT WHILE LONGER ministering to those of the circumcision yet clinging to Temple walls.

(“Whose readeth, let him understand”)

Again, the apostle Paul ‘completed’ and ‘confirmed’ the saints in a format of FELLOWSHIP AND FAITH, rather than a context of castigation, intimidation, and coercion.

Today’s so-called ‘apostles’ use FINANCIAL FEARS AND FORCE THEIR VERSION OF ‘VICTORY’ BY LEVERAGING FILTHY LUCRE WITH FORMULAS BASED IN THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH, WHICH JESUS ALREADY SATISFIED AT CALVARY.

God always works in Christ Jesus to FREELY FELLOWSHIP within us by the Spirit that purpose which has NO END. (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

CONTROL DYNAMICS ARE OUT!

I REPEAT: MAN’S CONTROL DYNAMICS VIA THE LAW ARE OUT!

FORCEFULNESS IS OUT!

The Holy Spirit works in the realm of FELLOWSHIP after He has brought about OWNERSHIP.

JESUS CHRIST VIVIDLY DEMONSTRATED BY WASHING THE FEET OF THE APOSTLES THAT ‘CEO’ STYLED LEADERSHIP SHALL “NOT BE SO AMONG YOU”.

Review Genesis chapters 1–3 and grasp that God wants to have fellowship with men, not forced slavery or programmed robots.

He already had that in an ape!

Fellowship with God is what Jesus walked in and purchased in the work of the Cross.

Fellowship is something that you give attention to or neglect.

Our “Great Salvation”, (attested to by the works of Christ, and the Spirit’s works through the first apostles, as well as the Blood-bought gifts of the Spirit in operation today), can be neglected or given attention.

It is the WAY OUT for all humanity, regardless of social status.

By the way, how do you recognize someone is headless?

Come on…think for a moment…it’s not a trick question.

Answer: NO EARS.

The Headless man does not listen to the Voice of God and stay after the Spirit, so it follows that a headless wife does not listen to her husband.

Oh yeah, there’s more to say now about marriage, but that, dear hearts, has to be addressed in another sermonic episode…well, probably a mini-series…no, maybe a saga.

”I have two guns, one for each of ya…” (Tombstone, 1993)

“BY ORDER OF JESUS”…let that be our watch-word.

Amen.

Greg McBride

April 27, 2010