This is a tale of two kings. The tale shows how leaders, in particular, respond under pressure or challenges.
The first king was arrogant. He was trained in the court of one of the wises kings who ever lived. One would’ve thought that he would know how to respond to the requests of his people. But he did not. His people approached him to lighten the yoke (taxes) placed on them by his father. They promised to serve the king faithfully if he would grant them this. The king, at first, consulted with the elders. Something he must have witnessed his father did. They told him if he would humble himself and speak good words unto them, they would look up to him as the leader he was meant to be. However, his heart was prideful and full of greed, so he turned to his peers for advice. They told him to answer the people, that his little finger would be thicker than his father’s loins.
On top of that, he will make the life of his people harder to bear. The kingdom was torn apart, and the greatest part followed after the leader that stood up for them. They refused to give the king tribute and killed the man who was sent to collect the taxes. The man who stood up for the people was then declared king. (1 Kings 12)
The second king in our tale lived many years later. This king saw this beautiful land and desired it. He went to the owner and negotiated for the land. For many generations, the land belonged to this man’s family, and he didn’t wish to part with it. No, was a word this king wasn’t accustomed to. He went home pouting to his wife. History would tell us that this queen wasn’t to be trusted. Though she was beautiful, she had a cold heart. She took things into her own hands and wrote to the elders and noblemen in this man’s town. False witnesses were brought against this man for refusing to sell his land to the king. The man was falsely accused, taken out of the town and killed. However, our story doesn’t end there. The king took the land in possession, seemingly not caring how it was obtained. Leaders today believe that God does not see their wrongdoings. But He does, for God sent a message to the king through His prophet. The king was to die where the previous owner of the land died. So much so that the dogs will lick up his blood and that of the queen. When the king heard these words, he tore up his clothes, put sackcloth on, and fasted. He repented for what he had done, and God had mercy on him. The king only reigned for three more years, and the queen was killed shortly after. (1 Kings 21)
As a leader, how do you react when people confront you? Do you seek wise counsel? Do you seek God’s will for the people? Or have your heart grown too cold? If you made the wrong choice, do you acknowledge it and apologise? Do you try to right the wrong? Or will you be like these two kings, whose reign had been cut short because of their pride?
Thank you, Mike, from Pexels, for the loan of your photo.
The different king’s stories can be found in the bible:
1 Kings 12
1 Kings 21