2 Samuel 19: 9-43 The King’s Gracious Return
In Christianity there are two types of happily ever afters. There is the final happy ending where Jesus will return and all enemies will be put under foot. All evils will become undone and there will be no taint to our eternal joy. And then there are happy endings under the sun. These are resolutions from conflict that bring about good but not ultimate good. These are the sorts of victories that you and I enjoy as Christians whether it is in our sanctification, church growth or preaching the gospel. We make head way but we are harassed. We take 3 steps forward but one step back. We gain victories but they are not pure and free from all sin and defeat is often close on the heels of victory. Here the realities of the fall are like flies in the ointment of our success. Last week we looked at how God working out His purposes and moving the plot line forward does not necessarily square with our idealistic and romantic notions of progress. Well today we get to consider how victories are also to be stripped of their romantic and idealistic notions when won under the sun.
David has won the victory over Absalom and is returning as King. You would expect to see this homecoming as a happy time but it is tinctured with disappointments, delays and deceit. Against this dark background we are given a good vantage point for observing David returning with grace. David is a man who knows God’s grace and patience. And as he returns to Israel we see him operating on the basis of grace. The chapter divides in to two parts revolving around four conversations with Judah, Shimei, Mephiboseth and Barzillai. The first two are those who resisted David and supported Absalom and the second are two friends. Grace dominates this portion as we see grace extended to those who don’t deserve it and the faithfulness of David’s friends.