The King's Friends

The King's Friends

(1st Kings 12: 1-19)
“Your Majesty, I can see you have 
inherited the wisdom of your father, 
the late King. 
Coming to us for advice is proof you 
have some degree of wisdom. 
It is said that what the old man will 
see sitting down, the young man 
won’t see standing on tiptoes”, 
Elder Elnathan submitted.
The King smiled. He was just crowned
 king a few days ago. “Yes sir. 
I have no idea how to be King- I mean, 
I was born in royalty and I have attended 
the best Ivy League schools in the country,
 but nothing really prepares you for the 
You were all my late father’s counselors 
and advisers. 
You were able to navigate the ship 
of State so excellently with him, 
the kingdom did not engage in a 
single war or have any economic, 
political or inter-tribal crisis all 
through the reign of my late dad!” 
The Elders were happy the new 
King deemed them worthy of 
counseling him. 
Children of nowadays seem to think
they know it all. 
But this young King is not like that. 
His late father is lucky to have a wise 
son take over the kingdom after him.
Elder Ahimelech cleared his throat. 
He raised his hand to speak. 
“Your Majesty, I thank God for your 
The biggest failure is always a leadership 
failure. Everything rises or falls on 
This is my advice: listen to the people. 
You are only King because there is a 
If there is no Kingdom, if there are no people, 
there won’t be a King. 
Speak good words to them, identify with 
them and reduce the weight they carry. 
After all, the temple and the palace 
have been built- you don’t need their 
services anymore. Just enjoy the Kingship 
and history will favor you”. 
All the Elders agreed with Ahimelech.
The King thanked them and they 
departed the Council Chamber. 
He ruminated over their counsel for 
a while. 
These men were all over 80 years old. 
They had experience. 
They understood power, they understood 
politics, they understood wisdom, 
having been with his father for over 
30 years. 
But then, he remembered his father 
married all kinds of women after his 
mother, who ended up derailing his 
heart and leading him to other gods. 
He built altars to them. '
Where were these elders then? 
What was their take on his father’s 
indiscretions? Should I trust their 
advice now? The King thought he 
needed a second opinion: he picked 
his phone and sent out a message 
to his WhatsApp Group: his schoolmates. 
He asked them all to come over to the
 palace for dinner that evening…

That evening, the King hosted his 
friends, 30 of them. 
He told them of the request of the 
people and the counsel of the Elders.
“Don’t mind them! 
They’re just lazy! See, you have to 
put your foot down. 
You have to make them understand 
you are your own man and break 
away from your father’s shadow. 
Your dad was an excellent King, 
but you can establish your own 
Remember your dad simply used 
his kingship to fulfil his own father’s 
dream, he had no vision, goal or plan 
for himself. 
That is not the best way to be King! 
You must understand that power is 
not given: it is taken!”
The King nodded in agreement. 
Michal made a lot of sense. 
Pashur added, “Dude, this is an 
opportunity of a lifetime. 
Your father taxed the people and 
they did it willingly. 
He sold God to them! I want to build 
a temple for God, he told them. 
And they gave their money and 
time to the project. 
But your dad was one smart guy! 
he took advantage of the people’s 
gullibility- he used them to build 
the temple of God for 7 years, 
but they spent 13 years to build 
this palace! '
Learn from your dad, use God
 to make more money from them!”
This made more sense to The King: 
use your position to enrich yourself. 
What is the use of a poor and broke King? 
The wealthier you are the more 
respect you get! But there was a 
problem: His father had built the 
Temple and the Palace. 
How could he justify taxing them again? 
He asked the question. Ahishar smiled. 
Of all the King’s friends, he was the
 craftiest. “My guy, are you a learner? 
Just tell them you want to be doing 
Annual Conferences!
 Tell them you will invite speakers from 
all over the world! 
You will need to do publicity and 
awareness drive. 
You will need to give these big speakers 
You will need to go live real-time online; 
people can stream the event live for
 the entire week of the program. 
You can even tell them the temple 
is old school. Architecture is dynamic, 
there are new technological breakthroughs 
in construction today. 
You want to modernize the temple and 
make it befitting for God. 
You have to think smart to make 
money, dude!”
See why the King loved these guys? 
They were so street smart, unlike 
those old men who don’t even know 
how to operate a computer or use a 
remote control! The King took the 
advice of his friends…

Next day, the King held a meeting 
with the Labor Union leaders. 
He had to make them know he was 
He was very different from his father. 
He laid down his marker and told 
them their work WILL NOT be reduced! 
'They have to work HARDER! 
It is their Social Responsibility! 
The Labor Union President could not 
believe what he just heard. 
“But, your Majesty…” 
The King cut him short, “Don’t but me! '
My little finger is thicker than my 
father’s waist! 
I AM the King, not you- and my word is law! 
You have no choice in this matter. 
Have a nice day, gentlemen!”
And The King got up and left the 
meeting with much arrogance. 
He smiled to himself. He was happy 
with his drama- now these people 
will understand he is not to be '
messed with! He is the KING; 
they need to be reminded of that!

That night, there was a coup d’état 
and the King was overthrown.
And the Labor Union President 
became King in his place…

-Haruna Daniels