Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: Why not me?
By Karuna Barla
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“Brother, come lets go, I’m hungry.” Abinadab yelled, as he urged the sheep toward a well beaten pathway.
Eliab took time to get off his thoughts as he watched blankly at his brothers walk away and slowly followed them home.
At dinner, he quietly consumed his food, while his thoughts consumed his mind.
Post dinner, his dad found him lost in thoughts again, sitting by the fire pit outside.
“What’s bothering you son? You seem lost since you came home. Is everything ok?”
“Oh! fine dad, I was just thinking..” he sighed.
“About what son?”
“Dad, how come God didn’t choose me, I’m the oldest. Was I not good throughout? At school, in the army and everything else!” His words spilled his emotions in urgency.
“I wish I’d known son, but He’s God. He knows it must be for everyone‘s good. Sometimes even I wish I had my little boy right beside me, instead of serving a king who’s constantly threatening to kill him.”
“Yea, I guess that would be a bad thing for him. To have someone seeking to kill you when you haven’t done anything wrong.” Suddenly Eliab felt a little better at not having been chosen by God. Maybe it was for his good.
They lingered by the fire a little longer till the embers quit glowing, occasionally exchanging a few words. That night Eliab slept well. Better than the nights at the camp. It had annoyed him to see his younger brother escorted by his colleagues everywhere he went. Even the king’s son had gradually become best buddies with his little brother. He had spent nights wondering what made David better than him. How good could he be that God chose him? He had no answer and no sleep. Except tonight.
Eliab’s consolation was but for a time. As years went by he could see God fighting on David’s behalf. People chanting his name like a mantra. He made some attitude adjustments in order to continue his work in the army, until one day David was chosen king by the people. He should have felt proud but he was hurt. He felt like such a loser. Their country being led by his younger brother who had known nothing of swords and fights but was now known as “Mighty!”. He couldn’t believe his fate. His sleepless nights were back with a vengeance
Eliab contemplated retiring from the army, but he knew the only other job he had, was shepherding which meant he would have more free time to ruminate on his pathetic condition. At least the army kept him busy. They were out for days and nights and he’d be too tired to think. He remained, until after years he had to change his mind, when his best friend died while fighting in the frontline. He resigned the very day they returned from Rabbah.
Back home, he sat sullen at the porch everyday, when one day a friend came by to see him.
“How are you Eliab? Its been a long time,” he voiced his concern.
“I’m fine Obed. How are you?” he vainly tried to sound cheerful.
“Good, except we missed you at the victory party after Rabbah. Heard you resigned soon after.”
“Yea, I decided I couldn’t go on longer with all the wars, then my friend Uriah died right before my eyes as I watched helplessly. I couldn’t take it.” he said, fighting back a tear.
“Oh about him, David has taken his wife to his palace.” he recalled.
“What for?” he retorted unbelieving.
“To be his wife,” he enunciated the whole episode with Bathsheba, that he had picked up from the streets of Jerusalem.
That night Eliab almost had a brawl with the Lord. He now had evidence of David’s wickedness and all the more reason to ask God why He had chosen David over him, to be king. He received no explanation from the Lord then, but in a few months he learnt of the death of David’s newborn son and prophet Nathan’s words to David.
God had judged righteously. Perhaps God had chosen David for his outrageous nature, either good or bad. He had seen David’s passion for good, and now also for bad. He now realized, he’d never been passionate about anything. The latter years Eliab lived as a passionate father, a husband, a son, a brother and a worshipper.
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