A friend of mine, told me that I should read A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards. He had read it and he said he thought of me. Why? That would be T.M.I. for this context. Suffice to say, knowing what I know, I was honored that my friend saw traces of me in the story.
In the rawest terms the book is about Saul, David, and Absalom. Really it is about humility, ambition, brokenness, and yielding to God. There is much that God knows, but "He won't tell." Much of the book revolves around that tension of wanting to know--wanting to know so much that we will arrogantly claim to know--yet having to make choices in the realization that we don't know. We don't even know our own heart.
The book is very selective in its history of David. It claims that David did not fight for the kingdom, He did.the beginning of 2 Samuel makes that clear (3:1 in particular). The book is right, however, in pointing out David's remarkable resolve in being unwilling to "stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed." (Saul) Likely David's motives and actions toward Absalom were more complex than those portrayed in the book.
Having said that, I think Edwards zeros in on a central characteristic of David. Maybe the characteristic that made him a man after God's own heart. I know beyond any doubt that A Tale of Three Kings caused me to evaluate the contents of my own heart. It seems that is the author's intention. "The story is a portrait . . . of submission and authority within the kingdom of God." (Introduction) It gave me a new paradigm for evaluating some of the interactions that have formed and shaped me.
To put the question in the Words of David: Am I willing for the "Lord to be my shepherd" even when He doesn't tell? Am I willing to submit to Him even when I don't know where He is leading?
I think others will find A Tale of Three Kings, by Gene Edwards, a worthwhile read.
A Tale of Three Kings, Gene Edwards, Tyndale House Publishers.