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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

The Barefoot King

Today’s Verse:

And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. ~2 Samuel 15:30


Are you comfortable walking barefoot? While being barefoot is great relief from being confined to shoes and socks, there are many risks. You are more prone to accidents and injuries to your feet. You are at risk of bacterial infection. In the Western world, being barefoot in the company of other people is considered disrespectful. This morning, we see a passage where David is walking barefoot. Let us see the lesson about the barefoot king.

We see the work of a slave.

Slaves were the lowest class of people in society. They were very poor and, in almost all cases, walked barefoot. A person who was captured in war was forced to take off his sandals and walk barefoot. In walking barefoot, David was saying that he was no different than a slave. His kingdom was taken from him by his rebellious son Absalom. David escaped with those loyal to him. When he voluntarily took off his sandals, many of his loyal followers may have been shocked that he would humble himself in such a way. For every believer, we must make the virtue of humility something we live out in all circumstances of life. No one should ever be shocked to see voluntary humility on our part. The Bible says of Jesus that He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death. Can you imagine “our King” also walked barefoot when He carried His cross to Calvary?

We see the witness of sorrow.

Going barefoot was also an outward sign of great sorrow and grief. David was brokenhearted that his son turned the hearts of the people against him. The verse says that he wept as he went up, had his head covered, and went barefoot. There is the grief that we suffer when someone we love passes from this life. However, there are other times that we should shed tears of sorrow. For one, we should weep over our sins. If we could just comprehend how much our sin breaks God’s heart, we would be more sin-conscious and weep over them. For another, we need to weep over sinners. Jesus wept over sinners. Paul wept over sinners. Weeping for souls to be saved is God’s formula for effective soulwinning. Are you brokenhearted for souls and over sin?

We see the willingness of surrender.

God told Moses and Joshua on separate occasions to take off their shoes from their feet. When ministering, priests removed their shoes. For Moses, Joshua, and the priests, going barefoot represented their surrender to the will and work of God. In Luke 15, we read of the prodigal son coming home barefoot. His father put shoes on his feet. The prodigal came home in humility, but he also came in surrender to his father’s will. Surrender is when we commit the decision-making in our life to an Authority higher than us. That Authority is God! Real surrender is realizing that we have no say in the matter and praying, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”

The king of Israel went barefoot as he ascended Mount Olivet. Let’s thank the Lord for a greater King—King Jesus—Who went up to Mount Calvary to bear our sins on the cross. Real sorrow, real surrender, and a real Servant!

Have a humble God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 5-6

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