Daily Thought for: 24th April


2 Samuel 13. 37-39; 14. 1-14, 23-25, 32-33

The problem which confronted David was seemingly insoluble. Absalom had murdered his half-brother Amnon and fled to Geshur. After three years of separation, David’s heart longed to bring the rebel son home. However, he knew Absalom’s sin demanded God’s judgment and therefore he could not return. 

One man, Joab, had other ideas. He acquired the services of a wise woman from Tekoah and by using a mixture of human wisdom, deception and flattery, succeeded in persuading David to bring Absalom back. However, although he returned and lived within the borders of the kingdom, he had not truly returned home. His sin kept him at a distance and he could not enter David’s house or see his face. Absalom knew that it would have been better for him to have remained where he had been. Sadly, David’s resolve broke and Joab succeeded in getting him to compromise the truth of God’s word. Absalom entered his father’s house and felt the warmth of his embrace; ‘He came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom’, 14. 33. However, he had no right to be there! Sinners and backsliding saints can only return to God on His terms. 

The wise woman of Tekoah said, ‘For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means that his banished be not expelled from him’, v. 14. How true, but she spoke in unbelief and with no idea of the means God devised. When God ‘brings a person home’, He does so in a righteous manner, i.e. on the ground of His grace and true repentance, something Absalom did not once display.  David knew this truth following his sin with Bathsheba; ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions . . . create in me a clean heart . . . the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise’, Ps. 51. It was on this basis that God could say through Nathan, ‘The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die’, 2 Sam. 12. 13. 


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