A Tale of Three Kings has truly helped David to become my favorite Bible characters (other than Jesus, of course!).
From King Saul’s trying to kill the already anointed David … to David’s finally becoming king … to his son Absalom’s trying to overthrow his own father, David held loosely to the throne and tightly to the Lord.
Someone trying to convince David: “But you know that Absalom should not be king!”
David: “Do I? No man knows. Only God knows, and he has not spoken.”
David could have tried to stop Absalom. But could he do it in a way in which he could have remained true to himself, loyal to his integrity, consistent with whom the Lord called Him to be, and faithful to God? David didn’t think so. To hold tightly to his throne, he would have had to become someone else. And he’d been down that road before. He’d seen what happens when he pursues his desires instead of the Lord’s. He’d seen the mess it creates and the person he becomes.
Now, faced with the threat of Absalom’s overthrow, he didn’t want to go down that road again of his selfish pursuit. He didn’t want his way to be his personal plans of regal gain. After all, isn’t that what Saul and Absalom were all about?
If I stop him, will I still be a David? If I stop him, will I not be a Saul? To stop him, I must become either a Saul or an Absalom.
It is better that I be defeated, even killed, than to learn the ways of… a Saul or the ways of an Absalom.
Through these challenges to his reign, he remained committed to being a ‘David.’
In my old age I intend to be David still. Even if it costs me a throne, a kingdom, and perhaps my head.
He wanted his way to be the true King’s way.
But the Sauls and Absaloms of the world seem so powerful! Do we really let our adversaries simply run their course? Do we really let them potentially prevail?
That is an important question. And I just love David’s perspective:
“You underestimate your adversary,” retorted Abishai.
“You underestimate my God,” replied David serenely.
A Tale of Three Kings reminds me that no matter the circumstances, we must be Davids. We must stay true to the way of the Lord in seeking and doing the will of the Lord. To become a Saul or an Absalom in attempts to preserve the Lord’s will is the way of defeat. To honor the Lord is the Lord’s will.
So the outcome is the Lord’s. But the process is ours to honor: To be a David – even if it means losing the throne.
Praying for us, that the will of the true King stays serenely on our thrones!