There was a time when kings went to war, and good kings prepared themselves. There was such a king that made ready for war by calling his royal guards together for a special mission. These guards were his most trusted servants. This mission meant more to the king than his own life. You see the king had very young heirs (children) who were tender, not knowing good or bad.
He commanded his royal guards to take the children and place them in homes in separate parts of the world for their safety. None of the children were to be kept together. No one other than the guards was to know of their whereabouts. Even the children would not know where the others had been taken.
The children were not to be placed in fancy palaces, but in relatively modest homes where they would go unnoticed. In addition, the guards who were assigned to look out for the children were not allowed to live with them but were to be the kind neighbors, butchers, priests, etc. They were to keep a watchful eye on each child to help as needed.
The king said, “See, I have placed them in your care. I am also sending a sealed letter with each child, explaining their true identity and inheritance, to be opened at the appointed time. I will send my messenger to gather them all together when all is well. In addition, he will be their tutor, teaching them all the ways of the Kingdom.” Having sent his children into the world, the king knew they would pick up bad habits, that they may not even speak their native tongue, and that they wouldn’t know their OWN father. He would not be angry or upset because of this. And so it was done as the king had ordered.
As time wore on, the children grew older and lost all memory of their father, the king. They had become a part of the homes and environments in which they lived. They participated in the activities of the culture, whether good or bad.
Finally, the king returned home from battle and sent his messenger to the guards to have his children brought to him. The messenger was instructed to have each child read the letter that the king had written them years prior. In the letter, they learned that they were children of a king and that he had sent them away to keep them safe while he was away. Now it was time for them to return home and live out their true identity as king’s children. The letter also introduced the messenger, who would be their tutor, to teach them the ways of the Kingdom.
As much as their father, the king, loved his children and understood what their lives must have been like while apart from him, they would still have to listen to and obey the messenger’s instructions in order to be allowed into the Kingdom.
Parable told by Randy Gallop