115 - Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
April 25 - Nº 115 2 Samuel 14
David missed Absalom very much, but for three years he never tried to contact him. Joab, David’s commander, realized that the king longed for his son, but was having trouble forgiving him for the death of Amnon. So, Joab came up with a plan. He hired an actress from the nearby city of Tekoa to go to the king and convince him to bring his son home. Joab told her how to dress and exactly what to say. So, the lady showed up in David’s court dressed like someone who was mourning the death of a family member. She bowed before King David and said, “Please help me, Your Majesty! I am a widow and I had two sons. Recently they got into a fight, and one of them killed the other. Now everyone in my clan is insisting that I hand over the son who is still alive so he can be punished. They say he must die for murdering his brother. But if that happens, there will be no one to carry on my husband’s name, and I will be left alone! I will lose everything!” David said, “Go home. I will take care of this.” He promised the lady that her son would not be harmed in any way—that as the king he could pardon him. Then the woman boldly confronted David, “So, why don’t you practice this yourself? Why don’t you pardon your son who killed his brother?” She added, “Even God finds ways to bring us back to Himself so that we won’t be banished from His presence forever.” No doubt Joab planned these words to remind David of how wrong he had been to sin with Bathsheba and murder Uriah—yet God had forgiven him (see #112 - April 22)! David realized that his commander, the man he was closest to, must have planned this whole performance. He called Joab in and admitted that he was finally ready to send for Absalom. However, once Absalom arrived, David refused to meet with him. For two years Absalom lived in his own house without being allowed to visit his father. Finally, the young prince sent word to Joab asking him to come and help him arrange a meeting with David. But the commander did not respond. Absalom sent for him a second time. Again, there was no response. Finally, Absalom instructed his servants to set the commander’s barley fields on fire. That worked! Joab showed up at Absalom’s house and yelled, “Why did you burn my fields?” “I had to get your attention,” Absalom responded. “I want to know why you brought me back to Jerusalem? I was better off where I was before. Please arrange a meeting for me with my father. I want to see him even if he decides to kill me.” Joab told the king what Absalom had said, and David finally sent for his son. When Absalom came in, he bowed down with his face to the ground, and David kissed him. The two men were finally reunited—but the issues that had separated them for so long were far from being resolved.
Is there someone in your life you are having trouble forgiving? Remember, God was willing to send His only Son to die on the cross so that we could be forgiven. That’s how much He wanted to have a relationship with us! We must be willing to show others this same mercy. We must allow God to restore our broken relationships.