Peter Misselbrook's Blog
May 14 2019 - 2 Samuel 19:1-15 – David returns to Jerusalem

King David's distress over the death of his son Absalom meant that, "for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning… The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle" (vv. 2-3). Joab, the commander of David's army and the man who had thrust javelins into Absalom's helpless body, was angered by David's behaviour. Going into the king's house he told David, "Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you" (vv. 5-6). He warned David that if he did not change his behaviour he would lose the support of the army who had fought for him and that, "this will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now" (v. 8). So David left off his mourning, took his customary seat in the city gateway and recaptured the hearts of the people.

But the crisis was not yet over since the nation remained divided; some had supported Absalom as king while others remembered how David had defeated their enemies the Philistines and wanted him as their king. There seems already to be the suggestion of division between the northern tribes of Israel and the tribe of Judah to which David belonged. We shall see how this division becomes a complete split when David's grandson, Rehoboam, became king. It is the men of Judah who welcomed David back into Jerusalem as king.

Jesus also has loved those who hated him – though he never hates those who love him. He died for us while we were sinners and rebels against him. He once told a parable about a man who travelled to a far country to receive a kingdom for himself. Many of the citizens of the kingdom over which he was to be king said, "We do not want this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14). The key question for us is whether we will embrace Jesus, David's greater Son as our king. He died for us but is risen and ascended to glory; he is seated on his throne at the right hand of God. Has he captured our hearts to own him as our Saviour and king?

Jesus is King and I will extol him,
give him the glory, and honour his name.
He reigns on high, enthroned in the heavens,
Word of the Father, exalted for us.

We have a hope that is steadfast and certain,
gone through the curtain and touching the throne.
We have a priest who is there interceding,
pouring his grace on our lives day by day.

We come to him our priest and apostle,
clothed in his glory and bearing his name,
laying our lives with gladness before him,
filled with his Spirit we worship the King.

O Holy One, our hearts do adore you,
thrilled with your goodness we give you our praise.
Angels in light with worship surround him,
Jesus, our Saviour, for ever the same.    [Wendy Churchill]

Father God, we gladly own Jesus as our Saviour and our King. Help us gladly to live under his gracious rule and to encourage others to bow the knee to him and welcome him as Lord.

Peter Misselbrook