If we thought all would be well for David and Israel after Absalom’s death, it is obvious we were mistaken. Joab has gone out of control. Since Absalom’s rebellion, others like Sheba rebel, and Israel’s internal friction escalates again. David’s authority has deteriorated from the days Israel enjoyed great internal peace and power over their enemies. Many still disrespect David and his throne.

As we read the proverbs of Solomon (David’s son), one can know some of the experiences that likely give birth to these words: “By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down” (Proverbs 29:4). Certainly, David has experienced the harm that power struggles and even devious attempts at gaining wealth or prestige have caused Israel. Additionally, David’s lack of justice in Uriah’s murder demonstrates how everything crumbles when leaders act unjustly. God’s promise to David about establishing his throne forever still stands. Unfortunately, David’s remaining days will be marked by seeing more suffering and division than he ever imagined at the peak of his power.

As followers of Christ, we have been given similar promises of a great future, but we can also face immediate consequences for injustice and negligence. As a leader, reading about David–as well as his son Solomon’s insights–humbles me to strive for the immediate benefits given to me in Jesus Christ by walking in obedience and justice.