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A Tale of Three Kings

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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  2,681 ratings  ·  270 reviews
For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join the thousands who have been ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published May 21st 1992 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kari
Oct 10, 2008 Kari rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all believers
I found this book in our Calvary bookstore a couple years ago and never started it, thinking it was an Old Testament study of the kings. Instead, it is a wonderfully written story (in play form in Two Acts) with King Saul, King David and Absalom. It was a call to remembrance of Who is in control and how to handle ourselves when the Christian life gets us down. Hurting Christians should read this book, especially if you've been hurt by others within your fellowship. We all should have the heart o ...more
Rock Rockwell
Oct 08, 2007 Rock Rockwell rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hurting Christians
Shelves: christian-living
OUCH! OK - you're hurting and confused about poor leadership. So you go read a book about three kings: Saul, David, and Absolom. It is like a play unfolding before you as you turn the pages. Ah, there is Saul... now that is the bad leader who is attacking me! Ah, and there is David... that must be me! And then comes Absolom, but who is this? The mirror rises and you see your own face. ME? Not ME! The jury is still out, but don't be convinced yet if you are Saul, David, or Absolom... but time may ...more
L.A. Holly
When I was a very young pastor in California, my uncle (also a pastor) met me on the highway just north of Fort Worth, Texas to give me a book I just had to read.


My wife and I had been home to Texas for a visit and when we returned to California, a huge challenge faced us. There was a battle brewing, a power struggle in our young church.


My wife started reading it aloud to me as we made the 1600-mile trek back to north central California. Once she started, she could not stop. By the time we were
...more
Nate San
A great book about what to do in the midst of trials that seem unfair and obscure. Especially, as we wonder who is "of God" and who is not. God does not reveal who is anointed and we may never know. What we do have is the choice to respond well. This much, the book made clear. I have definitely faced Saul's and Absolom's. I can only hope to approach the courage of David and the where with all to stand what the way he did. This is a great read and will draw you into the storyline. I highly recomm ...more
Whitney
Mar 31, 2008 Whitney rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is a follower of Christ
I went through a phase of intense bitterness/ cynicism/ dislike for many "Christian" authority figures. Alot of this was directly related to my attending a Christian University. This book was what God used to change my perspective, and teach me about the gift of brokeness.

The book is written like a story, much like some of C.S. Lewis's novels- fast reads, but sometimes takes months to process all of the hidden messages and lessons.
Nicki
This is a great little audiobook.I loved the quirkiness of it, with the author inviting you to ‘watch’ the events unfold, in the style of a radio play. Paul Michael’s narration is absolutely perfect for this and he really helps to add to the atmosphere of the story. He really drew me into the events of King David’s life, so much so that I listened to the whole thing in an evening.
Its very funny in parts and had me laughing out loud, especially when referring to how God doesn’t always tell us wha
...more
Michael E.
This book was given to me as a gift in 2006 by a dear friend, but I didn't read it until 2010. It is an excellent book, especially if you have found yourself at a broken state in life. The book takes lessons from the Bible written around the time of King David, and illustrates how these lessons can be internalized, and how you as an individual can grow through your broken-ness. I love the note in the book that cautions the reader that this book is to be read by you, and not for you to use to poi ...more
Larryg
Good lessons about how King David responded in a Godly way toward a harsh leader who was over him, and how he also responded as a leader to a young leader under him. There are good lessons here for leaders about modeling God's character in leadership. The book also addresses readers who are not leaders and urges the proper response to poor leadership.
This book is easy to read in one sitting.
A.J.
Jan 08, 2009 A.J. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to A.J. by: Phillip McCart
Shelves: 2009-book-list
A Tale of Three Kings is one of my favorite books of all time. The way Edwards writes sparked an interest in me to read all of his other works. I love the story and the dialogue between the biblical characters. The lesson of brokenness and humility that is taught truly pierces the heart.
Alma Santana
This book is an inward journey, for the brokenhearted.
I'ts about three kings, and how we can all identify to one or the other. David, Saul and Absolom(David's son). I did not put the book down, it was super easy read. only 105 pages I read it in two days. Absolutely loved it.
Andrea
This book provides consolation to those who have been wounded by someone in a position of importance in any degree while at the same time not allowing the reader to sulk as there is a call for self-examination.
Kenton Kauffman
One of the most powerful books I've ever read. Very short, very poetic. If you have every considered leadership especially in the Christian sphere this is the book for you.
Marc
Powerful. A must read for anyone in a leadership position. Edwards illuminates the Godly principle of surrender through the example of David.
Livi
If you ever have a problem with your boss, or as a boss this is an amazing read... probably the best Christian book I have ever read.
Kristy
God has a university. It’s a small school. Few enrol; even fewer graduate. Very, very few indeed. God has this school because he does not have broken men and women. Instead, he has several other types of people. He has people who claim to have God’s authority... and don’t – people who claim to be broken... and aren’t. And people who do have God’s authority, but who are (mad and) unbroken. In God’s sacred school of submission and brokenness, why are there so few students? Because all students in ...more
Symon
God has a university. It’s a small school. Few enrol; even fewer graduate. Very, very few indeed. God has this school because he does not have broken men and women. Instead, he has several other types of people. He has people who claim to have God’s authority... and don’t – people who claim to be broken... and aren’t. And people who do have God’s authority, but who are (mad and) unbroken.

In God’s sacred school of submission and brokenness, why are there so few students? Because all students in
...more
Beth Peninger
This has been on my "to read" list for awhile so I decided it was time to get around to it. A few years ago it was "the" book in the church I used to attend. That's initially how it landed on my list. Now that I have read it I think maybe the leadership at that church needs to read it again because it seems the lessons they were focused on from the book didn't exactly "take"...but that's a different story for a different time. :)
Regardless.
First of all it is short! I'm getting off easy this mon
...more
Poiema
A wise book that can be read quickly and appears at first glance deceptively simple. It is couched as a drama, with more dialogue than action. The key player is King David and the first part of the book deals with his ascent to the throne of Israel and the second half deals with the attempted usurping of the throne by his son Absalom.

David did not take the throne away from his predecessor, King Saul, by force, though he had ample opportunity. Neither did he attempt to keep the throne by force w
...more
Jon
An intriguing story of the life, situations, and reactions of three kings--Saul, David, and Absalom. Using the Bible's account of David's choices as a framework, Gene Edwards lays out a very powerful case for the sovereign control of our God even in the most unimaginable situations. Edwards gives a delightfully human emotion to the struggles and thoughts that could have been floating around in David's head while his troubles with Saul and Absalom were in full swing. David is painted as having ve ...more
Jerry Simmons
This book is indeed a tale. It is a dramatic re-telling of the stories of Saul, David and Absalom.
There are two parts to this story. Both parts have important and valuable lessons that have such depth they cannot be fully discovered in one sitting. Then the contrast between the two parts adds even greater depth, value and essential lessons.
The first part follows the tale of David as a young man and Saul as king of Israel. In this part of the drama Edwards challenges us to face the King Saul with
...more
Jonathan
I like Edwards' simplicity in writing, it's especially nice after reading more difficult writing styles.

But, I felt like Gene was, in places, arguing that the truth needs not to be defended (if you don't like the word "defended," because of negative associations, then use the word "upheld" or "preached" or "exhorted" or etc.). That laymen or elders or preachers don't need to watch the flock, to keep the sheep free from lies, free from wolves, free even from misguided sheep. That instead of bein
...more
Stacey Patrick
The book is well written. The book has tells the story of three kings: Saul, David, and Absalom. It speaks of leaders, and encourages the question of which one are we. Am I a "Saul" and let my anger rage as I become jealous of others and seek to hurt them? Am I a "David" and love everyone in spite of how they treat me?

What I liked about the book is its central aspect of God wants people who are broken. God wants people who would live in pain, and allow Him to use them as His broken vessels. God
...more
Scott
Jan 27, 2013 Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
What does true leadership look like? First, look to Jesus who modeled leadership & servanthood perfectly. But since most of us can't relate to perfection, King David is a great human model for us as well, which Edwards has portrayed in this story/parable of the servant king who knew how to lead and how to follow.

This book was written to broken, disillusioned Christians who are recovering from their own traumatic experiences within the Church, where leadership has too often reflected the live
...more
Bill Benge
Feb 10, 2013 Bill Benge rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Matthew Owen
Shelves: own
This book is simply the most life-changing book that I have read beyond the Bible. Edwards deals with the human heart condition of reaction vs responding when wounded by others. When you are hurt or wounded by others will you strike back in vengeful retaliation (becoming JUST LIKE the one who wounded you) OR will you respond by realizing that God is using that person who has hurt you to bring about positive change in your own life? The book looks at King Saul, King David, & would-be King (t ...more
Lucimar
I recently took part in an internship. This book was required reading. So glad it was. It ended up helping me not only navigate through the time of internship, but prepared/equipped me for a lifetime of submission to *Cartman voice* AUTHORITAH!!!

Having had just finished a bio on King David, I had all the backstory I needed to really be able to soak in what this book is trying to communicate...people in authority to us (work, personal life, family) have an annointing from God to be in that positi
...more
Gene
The Three Kings examine the lessons learned from the choices made by Israels Kings: Saul, David, & Absalom.

There are two types of people: Sauls and David

Sauls are individuals who ascend to power only to become prisoners of their own success - it becomes who they are.

Davids also ascend to power but because it does not become who they are; they are capable of walking away.

The other insightful thing that Gene Edwards brings to light is our difficulty in judging people. We think we can tell who
...more
Ana Ávila
This tale bring us to a simple and kind of poetic level, part of the story of three Israel’s kings. The main issue is the authoritarianism and rebellion and how these kings handled them. The books is dedicated to christians who have been hurt by their authorities.

This was a very fast pace book for me to read, short (and very to the point) chapters were mixed with little touches of lovely poetry-like moods. This book is beautiful yet confronting, and although parts of the stories are fictional, i
...more
Telma Dragon
This book is like a poetry. Even it is written about Biblical characters, it is not biblically correct in some places. But it doesn't spoil this artwork. When I read the book many years ago, I was searching answers about authority etc., and for me it seemed that this book supports that we do nothing when "the authority" do something to us. But it wasn't exactly what it was meant about. There is a scripture at the very beginning, that explains it: "They have set up kings, but not by me: the have ...more
Rick Brewer
Read recently on the advice of a good friend. Very thought-provoking writing of the "heart" of three Kings (Saul, David, and Absalom) and how used used them. Makes me stop and think when I come in conflict with another now. Is God using this person to refine an area of my life?
Julie
An interesting use of the story of David (with Saul and Absalom) to illustrate leadership qualities. I'm unsure yet what I think about it... The main principle is that God is searching for broken people. This I understand to a point, but the illustration takes it to a place of inaction in the face of madness and rebellion. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
It also talks about never knowing if your leader is set in his position by God, that actions aren't evidence of this.
With all of this, don'
...more
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Gene Edwards is one of America's most beloved Christian authors. He has published over 25 best-selling books, and his signature work, "The Divine Romance," has been called a masterpiece of Christian literature. He has written biblical fiction covering nearly the entire Bible, with titles that include the following: "The Beginning," "The Escape," "The Birth," "The Divine Romance," "The Triumph," "R ...more
More about Gene Edwards...
The Divine Romance The Prisoner in the Third Cell The Day I Was Crucified: As Told by Jesus Christ The Beginning (Chronicles of Heaven) The Birth

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“David was caught in a very uncomfortable position; however, he seemed to grasp a deep understanding of the unfolding drama in which he had been caught. He seemed to understand something that few of even the wisest men of his day understood. Something that in our day, when men are wiser still, even fewer understand.

And what was that?

God did not have - but wanted very much to have - men and women who would live in pain.

God wanted a broken vessel.”
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“...he seemed to grasp a deep understanding of the unfolding drama in which he had been caught. He seemed to understand something that few of even the wisest men of his day understood...God wanted a broken vessel.” 10 likes
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