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A Tale of Three Kings – Chapter 27

The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Today marks the conclusion of our devotional study of A Tale of Three Kings. In this last chapter, we take one final look at King David’s character as he proclaims yet again that he will take no action to prevent his son Absalom from taking the throne from him.

Not only does David do nothing to prevent Absalom from making himself the new king, David also makes it easier for Absalom by getting out of his way, leaving Jerusalem and the palace free for the taking!

Why does David do this? In our book, David declares, “The throne is not mine. Not to have, not to take, not to protect, and not to keep.”  He knows that the throne and the kingdom belong to God and he wants no activity on his part to come between him and God’s will.

God had not yet revealed His will regarding the future of the kingdom to David. For all David knew, God might be ready for him to step down and a new leader to be appointed. David was also confident that God could and would defend the throne without David’s help. If God had wanted David to take action He would have told him so.

The book ends here…only with David’s response to wait on God. But note that David did not wait on God by sitting and doing nothing. He actively waited by leaving Jerusalem. He did not take anything with him that belonged in the palace or to the kingly office. He also left people behind who could report to him whether or not Absalom was God’s accepted replacement.

Through our discussion today we were reminded that sometimes God did tell His people to do something – defend a position, fight an enemy, etc. But, for those times when God does not tell or guide in a specific direction, it is best to do nothing – that is, to make no action of our own, but instead, actively wait for God to move.

(Read 2 Samuel 15-19 for the full story of Absalom’s conspiracy to take the throne, David’s response, and God’s ordained outcome.)

A Look Back at a Few of the Key Lessons from this Series:

  • Remember that the Israelites became dissatisfied at having God be their king and they petitioned to be ruled by an earthly king, just like other nations. This made us ask ourselves, “What things am I asking God to fulfill through some other means than Him?” (1 Samuel 8:4-7)
  • God gives us “good kings” and “bad kings” to accomplish His purposes. The outward “Sauls” in our lives are there to reveal and remove the inner “Saul” within us all. (Chapters 16 & 17)
  • Being broken is part of the sanctification process; it is coming to the end of self and recognizing that God is in control. (Chapter 12)
  • We should not leave a situation because we are uncomfortable or unhappy, but we leave when we are no longer capable of fulfilling God’s will or purpose for us in that situation. (Chapter 10)
  • Circumstances don’t make our character as much as they reveal our character. (Chapter 24)
  • David never denied how bad his situation was, but he did not let it overcome the reality that God was in the midst of it and that God had a plan. (Chapter 11)


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A Tale of Three Kings – Chapter 26

The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.

Chapter Twenty-Six

We are nearing the end of our story. In the last few weeks, King David has consulted prophet, priest, and warrior. And the prophet, priest, and warriors have consulted each other. The great debate over what should be done in response to Absalom’s rebellious take-over of the throne is on everyone’s mind.

The conversation between Abishai and Joab, two of David’s nephews who serve in his army, raises some very good questions. Joab says men will “sacrifice anything to satisfy ambition.” This is in reference to Absalom rising up against his father the king.

In response, Abishai adds, “He (Absalom) has raised his hand against the very anointed of God — against David! If Absalom, who has no authority, will divide the very kingdom of God…what in the name of sanity might that man do if he be king?”

These words led us to consider that Absalom, like many today, had not only lost respect for the authority of the king but had also lost sight of who the real King was! As there were things that the king did or didn’t do to his satisfaction, he decided that he knew best and he should become the king.

Things to consider:

  • Once we have shifted the emphasis from the power of “the king” to the power of the “individual,” we have essentially made ourselves kings. What kind of problems do you think might arise if we are all little kings?
  • Absalom lost sight of the fact that it was God who appointed Saul and then David to be king. If God is the appointer of kings, wouldn’t that make Him the ultimate authority?
  • Ambition, as defined by  businessdirectory.com, is “The desire to achieve something, or to succeed, accompanied with motivation, determination and an internal drive.” The question raised by today’s devotional….is ambition really ever satisfied? One man said that if you’re ambitious then it’s in your nature to find a flaw in your current situation. The next step would be to try and improve your situation, but if you’re really ambitious then you will just find another flaw that needs to be fixed. If Absalom had taken the throne from David, do you think he would have finally experienced peace and satisfaction?
  • “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” – James 13:6 ESV
  • “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 ESV


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A Tale of Three Kings – Chapter 25

The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.

Chapter Twenty-Five

 In our devotional today, David has sought the company and counsel of Zadok. He asks Zadok to recount to him the story of Moses and how he dealt with a similar situation of rebellion.

Korah was a cousin of Moses who decided that he had had enough of Moses leadership in the wilderness and he wanted to take his place and his authority. He trumped up charges against Moses and found 252 men to back him up. Korah approached Moses and Aaron with his followers. He informed Moses that he had no right to all the authority he exercised.

This story would have greatly interested King David. In our book, David is wrestling with how to respond to Absalom’s rebellion. He knows that many years ago, God had anointed him to be king, but he wonders now if that time is coming to a close. If God is not finished with him, should he fight Absalom? If God is finished with him, should he then surrender? And what about the people; could they not discern who is the rightful and anointed leader?

Zadok reminds the King that there is no formula or list or sign whereby God will reveal to a person or a people which man or woman is truly anointed to bear God’s authority and for how long. God alone knows. But, Zadok assures the King that something good will come from David’s struggle to discern God’s will.

“As surely as the sun rises, people’s hearts will be tested. Despite the many claims –and counterclaims – the hidden motives within the hearts of all who are involved will be revealed. This might not seem important in the eyes of men, but in the eyes of God such things are central. The motives of the heart will eventually be revealed.”

King David acknowledged that his heart had been tested many times by the Lord and it was about to be tested again. He asked Zadok to finish the story of Korah’s rebellion so that he might know how Moses responded.

Zadok responded, “He (Moses) fell on his face before God. That is all he did.”

Moses knew that God alone had put him in charge of Israel. There was nothing that needed to be done. Either Korah and his men would seize the kingdom – or God would vindicate Moses. Continue reading