When Princes Walk
I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
If you go back and read from verse 5 and 6, it reads like this-
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.
This passage is even more interesting when you read it in the message Bible.
V5. Here’s a piece of bad business I’ve seen on this earth, An error that can be blamed on whoever is in charge: V6. Immaturity is given a place of prominence, While maturity is made to take a backseat. V7. I’ve seen unproven upstarts riding in style, While experienced veterans are put out to pasture.
Bible says it is evil and an error for servants to ride on horses and princes to walk.
Let us look at the scriptures. 2 Sam. 9:1-13
This story is well known to many of us. David wanted to bless the house of Saul because of Jonathan his friend.
They sent for a servant in the house of Saul called Ziba who knew the family history and where Mephibosheth lived.
The son was lame on his feet and he was staying in the house of Machir, the sons of Ammiel in Lo-debar.
V9. Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master’s son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house.
Ziba was in control of the assets of Saul. How come he did not seek out Mephibosheth did not contend with Ziba for the assets? How was Ziba living? The bible said to us in 2 Sam.9:10 that Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
This is a classic case of princes walking and servants riding. What are the causes of this evil?
1. Sin. The father of Mephobosheth was the son of the first king of Israel, Saul. After God had promoted him, he began to misbehave. In I Sam.13:8-13, he usurped the priest’s office and God denied to replace him. God told him to destroy Amalek and not to spur anything alive (human beings and animals).
I Sam 15:9-But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
God, therefore, decided to reject Saul. By the time we got to I Sam 28, Saul was already consulting a woman with a familiar spirit at Endor.
In Exo. 20:5, God said
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
The children of those that hate God may suffer if God does not show mercy to them.
John 14:15- If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21- He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.
If you don’t obey God’s commandments then, you hate God and some of the consequences may affect your children.
2.) When kings lose out in battle, princes will walk.
In I Sam 3:1-5 was a terrible day in the battle for Saul, his sons, and Israel. They fled before the Philistines and eventually were killed in battle. There are always consequences of losing to the enemy.
2 Sam. 4:4
And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
The fortunes of this family changed as soon as the king was defeated in battle. The serving princes will normally go into hiding.
2 Sam. 3:1
Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
The Philistines had dealt a fatal blow on the house of Saul and David finished the job.
3.) When the strongman has been subdued the princes will walk
2 Sam 3:6
Abner was challenged by Ishbosheth, the son of Saul for going into his father’s concubine. Abner decided to teach the house of Saul a lesson by crossing over to David’s side. Eventually, Abner was killed by Joab.
2 Sam 4:1
4.) When princes mess up they end up walking (when they lack wisdom)
In I kings 11:4- Solomon slept with his father’s, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
Jeroboam and all Israel came to Rehoboam to make the heavy yoke of Solomon lighter so they could serve him. The old man who was with Solomon his father advised him to grant their request. He consulted with young men who grew up with him who wrongly advised him. He told the people
1 Kings 12:14
And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.
The end result Israel rebelled against the house of David. Rehoboam became king over the house of David and the tribe of Judah. Jeroboam became king over 10 tribes (the northern kingdom).
Luke 15:11-19 was the story of the prodigal son who wasted all his substance with riotous living.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Ecc. 10:17 (Message)
Lucky the land whose king is mature,
Where the princes behave themselves
And don’t drink themselves silly.
5. Princes walk if they leave servants unchallenged.
Mephibosheth knew Ziba was in control of the family’s estate but he was probably happy just to be alive that he ruled out contending with Ziba.
What you tolerate stays with you.
In Gen. 32:28, God changed the name of Jacob to Israel.
V28. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Jacob realized he was cut out for greatness. In Gen. 28:10-15, God appeared to Jacob in Bethel and made some promises to him.
Even though Jacob was blessed while under Laban he knew he was a prince working under a servant. He decided to resign.
Jacob was grossly unpaid. He knew something was wrong. He wanted his situation to change and he did something about it.
Gen. 27:37-40, Isaac told Esau that he would be servant to his brother but when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shall break his yoke from off thy neck.
Gen. 27:39-40 (Message)
V39 You’ll live far from Earth’s bounty,
remote from Heaven’s dew.
V40 You’ll live by your sword, hand-to-mouth,
and you’ll serve your brother.
But when you can’t take it anymore
you’ll break loose and run free.
When you say enough is enough, deliverance will come. Brethren, there are battles you must fight if you don’t want to walk as a prince.
You have to take on the giants but don’t forget giants do fall.
Are you a prince that is walking when servants are riding?
How do you know?
When you are a first-class graduate and you are being interviewed for a job by your classmate with a third class after years of joblessness! When your late father’s estate is being contested in court over several years, lawyers are being paid and the children are struggling financially.
When a Sergeant Major plans a successful coup and becomes Head of State in a country like Nigeria with Nobel prize winner, many Ph.D. holders and intellectuals now having to bow to this new Commander in Chief, it is an error and evil.
When the son of the master is now staying in the BQ of the house built by the father’s former driver or house help, it is an error.
The General Overseer told us that at a point in his life, he used to borrow money from his driver before the month ends. If that is your story it is an error.
How can you reverse that evil condition?
The first step is an awareness that all is not well with you.
In Luke 15:17- The Prodigal Son
And when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Do a say assessment. Why am I in this situation? Is this an inherited problem or I am responsible for this?
The prodigal son knew he was responsible for his situation and was also willing to do something about it.
In Judges 16:20
The great Samson who was anointed from the womb was captured, his two eyes removed, he was bound and made to grind in the prison house. They reduced him to an entertainer.
He was on a downward spiral until that stopped when he began to do the right things.
V22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
He also began to call unto God. You cannot continue to do what you had been doing before and expect a change in your situation.
Jeremiah 26:13- Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
Your analysis could also reveal that your walking as a prince may not be due to sin but the fact that you are weak spiritually and the enemies have subdued you.
(2) Act based on your findings.
The prodigal son said - Luke 15:18-19
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
This is repentance with godly sorrow. God does not delight in the dead of the sinner.
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
3. Strengthen yourself spiritually. Improve your prayer life.
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Our battles are spiritual
Ephesians 6:12- For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
You have to add fasting to your prayers. Some situations require fasting.
Matt. 17:21- Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Pray for wisdom
James 1:5- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
4. Fight to recover lost territory.
Do not be afraid to confront servants who have settled unto your position.
Joshua 1:2- Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all these people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
V6 Be strong and of good courage:
V7 Be thou strong and of a good courage
V9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
You have to fight territory.
In Joshua 14:12 Caleb said to Moses
V 12 Now, therefore, give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.
Do you know God has a plan for you? There was this story about a rich man with an only son. He also had a trusted servant who had worked for him for years. When the rich man died he left a will. In the will he said the son should pick just one thing out of all that he had left behind and every other thing should be given to the slave that was brought up in his home.
As the day for the decision drew nigh the son became sorrowful and the slave more joyful and was already throwing parties with his friends because of the great inheritance coming.
Finally, someone advised the son to approach the wise man in town for advice. The wise man listened patiently and then told him your father must love you. He told the young man what to do.
On the appointed day, the whole town was gathered. There was silence as the elders asked the young man to pick the one thing he wanted.
The young man got up and approached the slave and said I pick this slave as my slave. Everything the slave owns belongs to his master. A slave is a slave. They are to serve the master and his children. It is an error and evil for the slave to ride and for you to walk.
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Do you know God is waiting for you to come home? He has good plans and better plans for you than the one you made for yourself.
1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
God can never be late. He will yet restore you.
Mephibosheth was only 5 years old when his father and grandfather were killed in battle. By the time David restored the estate of his father to him, he was also a father himself. Maybe 15-20 years later. Today all the Zibas’ tormenting you will be dethroned and put to shame. The starting point is to reach out to Jesus. He is waiting.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with. Let us pray.