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.
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)