In this, our fifth week, we look at one of those giants that often lies "simmering"; just below the surface of our lives–anger! Let's face it, we live in an "angry culture". And as a result, it doesn't take much to set us off; just when we think life is rocking along, something happens and...we blow our lid! But just like the other giants represented in the story of David and Goliath, the giant of anger too, must fall. The Gospel gives us the power to see it happen, as we'll discover in this week's session.
Studies show the average man loses his temper six times per week, and the average woman three times per week. Bottom line is, this is a very common issue that we all must deal with. Just like leftovers abandoned for too long in a refrigerator, the longer the seeds of our anger are left unresolved in our lives, the more they will begin to stink up our lives! Maybe it's time you cleaned out some of those "leftovers" that are starting to stink, and saw your giant of anger begin to fall...
This week's teaching segment with Louie is entitled Anger Must Fall, and it is waiting for your viewing now!
We see this giant of anger plainly in the account of David in 1 Samuel 17, but not in relation to Goliath (the physical giant in the story). Verse 28 of this passage tells us that it was Eliab, David's eldest brother, who "burned with anger at him" (David). One might have thought that an elder brother, on the front lines of a battlefield, would have been protective of his youngest brother, but instead, we see an unsettled anger in his words that day. In this one verse, we see three things that often reveal anger in our lives:
Long-held, probably previously suppressed anger boiled over to a flashpoint there on that battlefield. Eliab's anger most likely stemmed from his rejection as the next king of Israel (when David was chosen by Samuel instead–see 1 Samuel 16). We touched on this briefly in Session #3 as well.
As we can see clearly in David and Eliab's exchange, our anger, when not resolved, can lead to sin in our lives. Interestingly, the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:26 that it is possible to be angry, and yet not sin (In your anger, do not sin...) Eugene Peterson's rendering of that verse in The Message is even more direct, "Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry–but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge."
For the follower of Christ, we must understand three things that allow us to move beyond our anger, and see this giant in our life fall as well. All three are possible, when we focus on the Cross...
For the believer, the place where anger is resolved, and the giant of anger is defeated, is called the cross of Jesus Christ
In his godly wisdom, Solomon recorded a powerful thought in Proverbs 16:32: Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
By the way, an interesting post-script to the relationship between David and Eliab. Evidently, Eliab dealt with his anger and resolved his frustrations with David. If we fast-forward to the latter life of these two brothers, we find Eliab a changed man. He had actually joined David's band of mighty men to fight alongside him against King Saul, and he ultimately winds up being made king of Judah by David (1 Chronicles 12). Eliab also became a great songwriter and singer of Israel (similar to David!). It seems that God gave Eliab a song, in exchange of his anger.
Don't let the giant of anger rob you of the potential that God has in store for your life. The giant of anger...must fall!
Lastly for this week, we encourage you to spend time in prayer as part of your study session. Ask the Lord to remind you of his victory on your behalf, and to give you strength to walk in that victory; both for your freedom, and His fame.
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