The idea of being royalty may sound appealing to some. Think of it: pampered upbringing. Servants waiting on you hand and foot. The best tables at the best restaurants, best seats at concerts. First class jet setting. Limos. Jewelry. Huge mansions on lush estates. The world is your oyster! So what if you have to deal with some paparazzi pursuing you and photographing your every move. The world is watching you! You are famous and want for absolutely nothing.
I’m not sure King David would agree with this assessment of the royal life. Sure, he had his first class digs. He had his wives and concubines and power and fame and fortune.
But he also had trouble.
It all started out great. David the little shepherd, defeated of the giant Goliath, became a great and victorious warrior with God on his side. David survived the pursuit of the somewhat paranoid King Saul and, when the king was killed in battle against the Philistines, David became king of Judah. As king, he was victorious over Israel, thus uniting the two nations.
David was noble in character and mighty in battle. But, like all humans, he had his Achilles’ heel.
King David had it all. And he had it given to Him by God. He was king and could have all the wives and concubines he wanted. But David caught sight of another man’s wife (the bathing Bathsheba) and decided he had to have her. Crumbling under lustful temptation, David went so far as to arrange to have her husband killed in battle so he could have her as well. In the end, he paid the high price of losing his first child with Bathsheba.
His household made most soap operas look like champions of morality. Within his family there was adultery, lust, incest, anger, plotting, scheming, murder, intrigue, betrayal… personal tragedies on a massive scale. When Nathan told David that God said the “sword shall never
Like royalty today, David too was pursued. Not by paparazzi, but by enemies seeking his destruction. Often the enemy was his own people – one rebellion in particular instigated and led by his own son (Absalom).
When Absalom was killed (despite David’s warnings to treat his son well if captured), David mourned and lamented. Greatly. He felt no sorrow for the men who had stood up to defend him against his own enemies (including his now deceased child). As his commander Joab pointed out to the king:
“You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life and the lives of your sons and your daughters and the lives of your wives and your concubines, because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you, for today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.” – 2 Samuel 19:5-6 (ESV)
Quite a contrast to God. The LORD sacrificed His Son that His rebellious children might live. David didn’t care how many how many of his loyal subjects might be sacrificed to save his one rebellious son. It is easy to see why God kept from David the honor of building the new temple.
David had it all. But he became self involved, myopic in his vision, constantly looking inward. He feared for his life and his well being. The king became a mere shell of the mighty young warrior he once was. In the end, he harbored bitterness, going so far as to instruct his son (and next king) Solomon to see to it his greatest enemies die violently.
The point is simply this: David had it all. But he paid a great price for it. David was where he was because placed him there, in those circumstances.
Each of us is where we are because God has placed us here, in these circumstances.
Don’t look to anybody else – no matter how beautiful may seem in comparison to yours – and think “if only”, or “I want what they have.” Do not covet.
Instead, give God thanks and praise for the station of life you possess. If you think your neighbor has it better, think again.
Seek God first. Find joy in Him, not in your circumstances. Then you will be able to truly praise Him at all times and see His Goodness and Greatness wherever and whenever. The LORD is the source of our joy, and He transcends anything this world could possibly of