Behaving like a king

1 Samuel 18, Psalm 63
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kinglyconduct

It’s hard work being the king. But when it’s done right, it looks good.

Unless you have Roman numerals after your name, or you happen to be Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, or Lebron James, you’re probably not royalty. The truth is, we can’t all be the king. That would be absurd anyway, because there’s be no serfs (or use for the word), and there’d probably be a shortage of raw materials for proper throne construction.

But we can be king-ly. The example of David, the future king of Israel, at least in this dimension, is worth emulating. As Christians, we can get pretty excited about the blessings and the inheritance we get, and without even knowing it rub it in people’s faces.  Worse, if we feel like we’re NOT getting what we think we deserve, we can get bitter and throw quite the pity party. I’m often inclined to do the latter, I confess.

How is a king supposed to act?

Son of a Bethlehemite!

David is the son of Jesse, a farmer and shepherd.  Pops doesn’t exactly have a royal pedigree, yet David turns out to be a rising superstar, diminutive yet quite handy with a slingshot.  Ancestry is unimportant in contrast to how the Lord perceives you as kin alongside Jesus Christ.

Here’s Johnny!

David knows he’s going to be king someday, but he still hangs out with the current king’s son, Jonathan.  King Saul doesn’t like this very much, but the two chums persist in their friendship despite the potential health/death risk. Later on, Jesus would say something to the effect of this:

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Wise behavior

Despite Saul’s animosity, the successor to the throne keeps his cool and stays friendly with the neighborhood. He has the support of the nation, yet he patiently waits his turn and obeys Saul. It’s easy to get bossy or do what feels good when you’re sitting on top, but fellow followers of Christ should consider doing otherwise.

Who am I?

Even when Saul is about to give his daughter to David in marriage (mostly as a ploy to get him in a position to kill him, but nonetheless), David still lowers himself to a position of humility:

So David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?”

Honor isn’t really a big deal in the U.S.; people in positions of authority are often abusive, manipulative, and condescending. While David isn’t in charge of anything yet, he knows he will be someday, yet he doesn’t use that as leverage; he recognizes the king’s gesture and demonstrates flattery.

Thirst for the Lord

Do you have an appetite for God? It should be obvious, but your desire to seek God should be likened to a man dying for one glass of water. If it’s not, your appetite is probably being temporarily satisfied by something else.

Single-minded pursuit

David writes,

My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

The chase for God should be relentless, no matter what your position is.

According to the Bible, we’ve inherited royal favor through Jesus Christ. This doesn’t warrant snotty behavior; it takes hard work and great humility. Let’s start acting like kings. Who knows, you might get yourself a gig. Uh-huh.

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