2 Samuel 14: A Parable to Call Out David Hoping to Soften His Heart

We saw in yesterday’s story how 2 wrongs don’t make anything right. They make things worse. If you missed chapter 13, you can read it here. Where last we left Absalom, he fled to Geshur to live with his mother’s father, who was king there. However, King David, missed his son and Joab, his right-hand man, noticed how despondent he was. So, he comes up with a parable to hopefully reach David’s heart and convince him to reconcile with his son. Let’s dig in….

2 Samuel 14 – Joab’s Scheme

Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time. Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.

When the woman from Tekoa approached the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, “O king! Help me!”

“What’s the trouble?” the king asked.

“Alas, I am a widow!” she replied. “My husband is dead. My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed. Now the rest of the family is demanding, ‘Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn’t deserve to inherit his family’s property.’ They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband’s name and family will disappear from the face of the earth.”

“Leave it to me,” the king told her. “Go home, and I’ll see to it that no one touches him.”

“Oh, thank you, my lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa replied. “If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father’s house, and let the king and his throne be innocent.”

10 “If anyone objects,” the king said, “bring him to me. I can assure you he will never harm you again!”

11 Then she said, “Please swear to me by the Lord your God that you won’t let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed.”

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he replied, “not a hair on your son’s head will be disturbed!”

12 “Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king,” she said.

“Go ahead and speak,” he responded.

13 She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son. 14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

15 “I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps the king will listen to me 16 and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritance God has given us. 17 Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.’ I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the Lord your God be with you.”

18 “I must know one thing,” the king replied, “and tell me the truth.”

“Yes, my lord the king,” she responded.

19 “Did Joab put you up to this?”

And the woman replied, “My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say. 20 He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!”

21 So the king sent for Joab and told him, “All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, “At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!”

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king gave this order: “Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence.” So Absalom did not see the king.

Absalom Reconciles with David

25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. 26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds! 27 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.

28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”

33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.

2 Samuel 14 NLT
  • Similar to the parable the prophet Nathan told David to call him out, Joab has this “wise” woman “pretend” to be a widow and come up with a similar story about one son killing another. At first, you think, “Pretend”? Hasn’t there been enough deceit? However, as a parable — and Jesus told many parables — the story is told to make a point.
  • Verse 14 is profound statement. After she calls David out as a hypocrite, she states the truth: “All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” That’s the truth. I’ll talk about that in a minute.
  • David, because of his adultery with Bathsheba, didn’t discipline his kids when they committed immoral sins. Had David disciplined Amnon, things may have turned out differently.
  • Royal pride — too proud to forgive them. He couldn’t discipline them, he couldn’t forgive them either.
  • He tells Joab to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem, but there’s no plan for reconciliation.
  • Absalom lived for 2 years in limbo not knowing how his father felt, until he finally took matters into his own hands and burns Joab’s field to get his attention. 3 wrongs? Still not making it right.

In any rate…

Have YOU Reconciled with God?

First, what does true reconciliation with God look like?

  • You must have or desire to have a relationship with God in order to reconcile.
  • God’s never left you. He’s been with you since you were born. You are the one that moved. He didn’t.
  • Abba, Father, Daddy, longs for a relationship with His kids.
  • Every human being, created in the image of God, longs for a relationship with their creator.
  • Every child longs for his parents’ acceptance.

Repent!

  • We can’t have reconciliation with God without REPENTANCE. If you don’t go to God on our knees, humbly admitting that you sinned and assuring him that you are going to STOP sinning, then He will forgive you!
  • That’s a promise! And God keeps His promises!
  • God’s plan is to reconcile with as many people as possible before He sends Jesus to come and get us. (That’s the Rapture).

Peter wrote….

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.

15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.

2 Peter 2:9-15 NLT

What about YOU?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift and Confident Hope of Eternal Life…


Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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