He was Israel’s greatest king. After leading the nation through many great moments, his eyes fell on his neighbour’s wife while she was having her bath one evening in her home not far from the palace. He was smitten immediately by her beauty. Then he sent for her to warm his bed and subsequently masterminded the death of the woman’s husband to make his unfolding plan easy for him.
His action triggered a series of events that included an insurrection led by his own son who cast off every restraint in his task to oust his father from the throne. Knowing how determined his son could be when he set his mind on any task, his father, who didn’t want any confrontation with him, decided to leave everything behind and make way for another haven. He got some of his wives and children together and with some guards and loyal lieutenants, made his way out of the city he had built into a great pride.
The procession left the city without any issue until they got to the outskirts when a troll suddenly emerged from nowhere and began to throw physical and verbal stones at the ‘escaping king.’ He added some dirt to his ammunitions as he screamed at the king: “Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shared in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has given the kingdom into the hands of your son. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer.”
One of the king’s guards was upset by the troll and asked for permission to take off his head but the king refused to grant the request. Hear him: “What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who can ask, ‘Why do you do this? My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.” His guard and everyone within hearing shot got the message from the king as he continued to lead the procession, even though the troll did not relent in throwing his stones, dirt and verbal barbs.
Why is his story relevant for us today? It is relevant primarily because the king did not insist on controlling the process. He knew that his actions provoked the consequences unfolding before him, though very unpleasant. He knew that the request from his guard to take off the head of the troll was an attempt to maintain control. We are creatures that love to be in control. Yet this king was wise enough to know that there is a time to take charge and be in control and there is a time not to attempt to take charge and be in control. Those familiar with how the story ended have since known the wisdom of the king, which is a timeless recommendation for all who are trolled, especially when their actions confer a toga of legitimacy on the activities of the trolls.