King for a Day
If you think about what landed the king to the position and what kept them there for any length of time then being a king had to be somewhat scary.
There were kings who inherited their kingship and those who took it by force. Some gained it because someone in their family passed away and some lit there because a relative was killed. Some went to the neighboring kingdom and took the position from the previous monarch.
For those arriving on the throne via the violence method it had to be scary putting your head on the pillow each night. Who could you trust? What was going to happen in your world today that would end the trust that you once had?
Royalty and Responsibility
This says nothing of the responsibility that came with the position. Let's say you landed on the throne by the most honest and upright method- now what? All these people are looking to you to provide for their needs. All these people are complaining about paying you to build an army to protect them all the while you are trying to balance what to pay the soldiers who are leaving their families to protect the freedoms that the others enjoy at home each night while the soldiers are off fighting.
There had to be some amazing things that came along with the territory but being the king was probably not all it was cracked up to be. And once you were the king how did you get out of that role? Someone came along and took it from you. It could have been by the sword thrust into your own body or into all those around you leaving you no option but to submit yourself and all your subjects to the next ruler. Could there have been anything more humiliating than this?
To Provide and Protect
Think about this, I actually do all the time. You are in a position of leadership and all your people are looking for you to protect and provide for them and now you are unable to do that. You were, at one time, at the top of your game and all of a sudden the game has changed and you're no longer at the top but rather at the bottom. The problem is, the people are still looking to you for guidance, direction and leadership and you might wonder what kind of leader you are yourself.
They say you never stop being a parent and this analogy may have been true for the kings as well. Once a king, always a king; until death do you part.
As I think about kings in Biblical times rising and falling, sinning and confessing, falling down and getting back up, I am struck with the notion that being a dad, boss, leader or king comes with almost all the same weight. Your people are looking for you to lead even if you feel very unqualified and inadequate.
The thing that woke me up in the middle of the night to write this is the following; we all have cycles and we often have no idea where those are going to lead us and our people. Our people are looking to us even when we have no idea what to do ourselves and so when that time comes what does God expect from us?
I think it's in this passage from Micah 6
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
It seems that at the end of it all God knows exactly how much we don't know or can't carry and so He dialed it down to this- Be Just. Be Kind. Be Humble. That seems too simple but maybe that's His point.
Whether you're the king or a servant the time may come when you are saying in your heart or even with your mouth, "God, what do you want from me?" and the answer may be as simple as this; "but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."