My dear father-in-law was beautifully British. I remember seeing a castle just sitting out in the field one time while visiting and driving through the Anglican countryside. Now there’s a site you don’t see amidst the corn in Midwest rural America!
Quite a different lifestyle, that was. It conjures up pictures of courtiers and knights and princesses tucked away in gabled towers. Here comes the enemy, so just pull up the drawbridge, and release the alligators into the moat. How convenient would that be when the IRS comes lurking about?
There seems to be an almost inevitable consequence, however, that of a social disconnect with everyone else. The “haves” and the “have nots” became a most inconvenient and hazardous delineation. Power can not only corrupt, but it can also cloud over what’s happening in the background.
Which appears to be what took place with King David.
2 Samuel 13-15 relates the story of one of David’s sons, Absalom and the king himself.
Synopsis: Absalom had a beautiful sister, Tamar, who was raped by their half-brother, Amnon. In fact, they had many half-siblings due to David’s multiplicity of wives and sort-of wives. (An impressive commentary of its own concerning marriage.)
It says that David was “very angry” with the event, but that’s it. No reprisal, evidently not a big enough deal to force an arranged marriage or any other type of provision worthy of a king’s daughter. This sets the stage for a literal cascade of events, starting with Absalom taking matters into his own hands—two years later—by the premeditated murder of Amnon.
David’s lack of justice concerning Tamar provided fertile soil for a serious root of bitterness to take hold in Absalom. After Absalom finally took revenge (justice that should have been meted out by his dad), then David unleased his wrath on Absalom, banishing him from his presence.
This eventually gave rise to rebellion on Absalom’s part, complete with political intrigue and deception of the people, turning them against King David to the point that David felt the need to evacuate his palace.
In his ivory tower, the king had lost touch with not only his own family, but with the very people under his reign.
Which is exactly still happens today, only one doesn’t need to live in a castle. I might not be fighting Goliaths and dealing with visiting dignitaries, but let’s face it, it feels like it sometimes in our modern rush-to-work and trying-to-keep-things-balanced lives. As a wise person once noted, the “tyranny of the urgent” gets our attention more than the true justice of what’s really important. Things like relationships and inner reflection and the pursuit of wisdom are too easily put off for another time. Before you know it, “two years” have passed and what was once merely background explodes onto the forefront.
And a whole cascade of things that could have been prevented are now going full speed ahead.
So what’s happening in your castle?