Don’t Be a Cynic
There are very few monuments erected to skeptics. That’s because instead of building people up, they tear them down. David’s older brother Eliab was like that. Here’s Eliab’s story: When nobody else in Saul’s army, including Eliab, who was a general, was willing to take on Goliath, David volunteered to go out and fight this ‘uncircumcised Philistine’ (1 Samuel 17:36).
In Bible times, circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant of protection and provision for the Israelites. And David knew this bully had no such contract with God; only the Israelites could claim such a benefit. As a result, David was very secure in the covenant, and embraced God’s promise.
Obviously this wasn’t the case for Eliab. Eliab’s ‘anger burned against David and he said: “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle”’ (v. 28 NASB).
Interestingly, the name Eliab means ‘God is my Father’, so Eliab not only represents secular cynics, but Christian ones too. Yes, we have them in the Church! All it takes is one skeptical member and soon all those with weaker faith, or no faith at all, start chiming in and perpetuating the negativity.
Beware: cynicism can wreak havoc in any relationship and environment. That’s why the Bible says, ‘Blessed is the man who doesn’t sit in the seat of the scornful’ (Psalm 1:1). Think twice before sitting down in that seat. If you stay there too long you may not be able to get up again!
‘If you love someone, you will…always believe in him.’ 1 Corinthians 13:7 TLB