A Tale of Two Kings

Submitted by Pastor Bill Burnham

June 2024 –  A Tale of Two Kings

 It is summertime and many are working on their beach or pool bodies! It’s the time of year when many are focused on their looks. So, let me ask a strange question. Do you want to be a better person today than you were yesterday?

In this tale of two kings, we often see the difference between those who settle for who they are, and someone who wants to continually better themself. We have this comparison to work with because God gives us a clear and honest look at the humanity and spirituality of both men almost side by side. Israel wanted a human king and despite God’s objection, because of their rebellious insistence, God gave them what they wanted – enter the first king “King Saul.” Here is a man everyone thought was going to be great, and as it turns out he was: a great failure. He was unsure of himself from the beginning and this lack of security turned to pride as a defense, and resulted in him not only never bettering himself, but ultimately by not acknowledging he had faults and shortcoming or a willingness to do anything about them, it led to his demise and finally his death. Saul died holding the highest position in the land as King of Israel, but he never rose to such a level as a person.

Enter king two “King David.” By contrast David’s example shows us how to be a better person today than we were yesterday or even last year. He was always willing to learn (he learned to be a warrior and a king). He was able to make decisions (decisions that turned out the way they did because of how he dealt with the decisions he made). He built more than his own legacy, what he built, he built beyond himself. He left what he built in such a manner that others could carry on after he was gone. He attracted people (all kinds of people), and ultimately people were better off because they had known him and been a part of what he was doing and where he had been.

David was not perfect – but as opposed to Saul, when David acknowledged his sin, he repented. When he was wrong, he admitted it, sought forgiveness and looked to improve himself. David didn’t always have it easy and neither did Saul, but when they faced challenges Saul hid, ignored them, or put them off, but David faced his head on.

This tale of two kings gives us a good look at how to either better ourselves or not. By comparison, who do favor more? “…Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites — a head taller than any of the others.” (1 Sam 9:2) The moral of the story of this tale of two kings is, there is a difference between being a good-looking person and becoming a better person every day. Looks can be deceiving; character is what truly counts. Let’s worry less about how we look and focus more on who want to be.

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