A Tale of Three Kings Book Response
27 March 2022
Leadership 102: Self Leadership
Where to buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Tale-Three-Kings-Gene-Edwards/dp/1610451082
A Tale of Three Kings Response Paper
“A gift is worn on the outer person; an inheritance is planted deep inside” (Edwards, XVII) is the first quote that stood out because like a seed planted under ground and not seen can bloom into a vibrant plant or flower. A seed planted in the heart fills the inner person which when it blooms is seen on the outer as the true reflection of God cannot be hidden. He bursts through people in vibrant colors even in times of pain, sorrow, and challenging times in life. Job 6:10 states “at least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the word of the Holy one” (www.biblegateway.com). Samuel in David’s youth told him he would be Saul’s successor as his heart sought after God’s own heart and throughout the book David in his youth refused to respond normally to Saul’s angry bitter leadership. Then in David’s old age he still refused to react to his grandson who loudly threatened a takeover of David’s kingdom but instead mourned the loss but still refused to move away from being the man after God’s own heart.
God uses the outer Saul to break the inner Saul in our own hearts. Saul hated David so much that he threw spears to kill him and then tried to hunt him down to the point that David lived isolated in caves constantly on the run from the cruel king. “Even then, he never spoke a word or lifted a hand against Saul” (Edwards, 27). It is easier to allow offenses to simmer and respond with the fire hot vengeance like the saying “eye for and eye and a tooth” (www.collinsdictionary.com). This refers to the idea that people should be punished according to the way in which they offended. David instead responded, “better he kills me than I learn his ways” (Edwards, 36). Leadership doesn’t give me autonomy to reprimand or be scornful to those who may have wronged me over time. It is important for me to see through David’s example to not be defensive but refuse to allow hatred to enter my own heart. David chose to not destroy the Lord’s plan so even given much authority he stayed a trustworthy vessel. He lived out God’s example to honor even evil leadership. As a leader I must remember that the life of those around me belong to God and it is not my job to be their savior but to lead them to God and allow God to do his job of conviction of sin, repentance, and acceptance of the saving grace of Jesus. As I reflect on my own youth, I was Saul inward and outward. Now that I am older, I can see the pointlessness of my own heart of Saul as it did not change my circumstances, but just made them worse and my heart longed for relief. Letting go and letting God take that control brings a sense of freedom so that is what I would take into my role in the ministry of leadership.
God’s plan for the redemption of the world means that in leadership it is essential to not allow power to corrupt. Saul was chosen by God and given authority, but he chose self-importance to take over so that his plans removed God’s authority. He was “willing to live in spiritual darkness” (Edwards, 40). It can be hard to understand how God gives power to unworthy vessels, but in turn I have learned that worldly power is limited by time. True transformation comes from individuals who are broken inwardly who live out a life of submission not with the view of man’s authority but that all authority comes from God. Worldly power strives to hold onto it through legalism which are to place more laws, rules, regulations, and fear over the people in their authority. I think at times I was given leadership when I was still too immature to understand the gravity of my influence on others. An angry leader has angry followers. I can remember a time when my staff were a bunch of grumblers, but it was because I did not reflect the right relationship with God. I understand that I should not give to others what I feel they deserved based on my own human emotion and limitations. I need to really rely on God’s grace and gentleness with his unending supply of restoration. In authority, I must hunger for God and his direction. Just as David “as grieved, yes, but he could not speak against those in seats of responsibility” (Edwards, 59).
The last question I am reflecting on from the book is what would I do if faced with rebellion? I have had authority taken from not that I was doing a terrible job, but a higher authority came and took over that role in leadership. Did I feel a bit resentful? Yes, and at first my response was not in God’s will for me or those I complained to. I was not a good representation of Gad at the time. Now I see my error in thinking and how God used a Saul to test my heart, so I had a choice of becoming a Saul myself or becoming more like David. I know that God never honors division and I have outlasted many leaders over the years, and I no longer have those hidden motives of wanting to be recognized as one with sole authority. I don’t need to be right in the eyes of men, but recognize my audience is God and how he sees me means so much more to me over any title I could have in the world. David, in his old age, could have become like Saul trying to kill the young Absalom, but instead speaks of mercy as he put God above his own life as the decision maker within his heart. David would have to turn against his nature to treat Absalom like Saul treated him. David stayed true to his relationship with God even if that meant he lost all his Earthly power and possessions. “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” (Edwards, 86). My pride has been a hinderance to me as a leader in my youth. I have learned that being broken just means that I humbly fall on my face before God. God is the one and only true vindicator.
A hard lesson to learn is that man cannot force God into man’s will. Men will sacrifice everything even their souls for the satisfaction of ambition. David given so much still did not allow his own human authority to go unchecked before God. “I will not hinder God. No obstacle, no activity on my part lies between me and God’s will” (Edwards, 94). David gives all authority to God. As I enter my own journey in leadership, I would like to cling to the heart of David. To wake up each day expressing gratitude to God for giving me any responsibility to reflect his character of grace and love. Not that David was a push over as he showed a great deal of strength in his reservation of retaliation. He waited for God to provide direction and answers. Not willing to speak for God but to sit in the moment and allow God to shine in all his greatness. David believed God’s words and his life reflected that which I hope to come close to as I work through my journey of becoming a ministry leader. “No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said. I have sworn an oath to David, and in my holiness, I cannot lie: His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky” (Psalm 89:34-37). May my life reflect the words of God breathed into my lifetime as David.
“Access Your Bible from Anywhere.” BibleGateway.com: A Searchable Online Bible in over
150 Versions and 50 Languages., https://www.biblegateway.com/.
“Collins Online Dictionary: Definitions, Thesaurus and Translations.” Collins Online
Dictionary | Definitions, Thesaurus and Translations, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/.
Edwards, Gene. A Tale of Three Kings: A Study in Brokenness. Christian Books, 1980.
Life Application Study Bible: NIV. Zondervan, 2019.