Restoring Broken Things

(Today's post by Keith Senator)

2 Sam 13:38-14:33

So Absalom was sent away by King David because he killed his brother Amnon, who disgraced their family. OK. I guess instead of losing both of his sons, he thought it better for him to go away and never see him again. Maybe this was customary in that day? Who knows. But from the story, we see that the King can pretty much do whatever he wants.

So Joab has a wise woman go to the David, pretending that she had the same situation that he experienced. So she went on to explain that her two sons were in a field and they fought, nobody was there to break them up and one was killed. What should happen to the other. David stated that “not one hair of your son's head will touch the ground”. I guess meaning that no harm would come to him.

The King knew that Joab was the one who put her up to it and had him go and get Absalom, his son. He was moved as a father more than a duty as a magistrate.

Absalom came to Jerusalem and lived there for two years without seeing his father. He sent for Joab but he ignored Absalom's request. He ignored him a second time as well. So he set fire to his field and that got Joab's attention. He then came to see what he wanted.

Absalom wanted to see the King. He said if I am guilty then he can put me to death. Joab then went to the King, told him this, and the king agreed to see Absalom. He was humble and bowed before the King. He kissed Absalom and the relationship seems like it is restored.

There are a couple things that are just weird. Why have the wise woman conjure up some story to trick the King into bringing his own some back? Why would Joab risk the King's honor this way to have him appear double-minded? What is up with people sending other people as their “hand”. I always thought this was strange. And then burning a man's field so he knows you are serious about wanting to meet. This is just nuts. But I guess it all worked out in the end.

Think about what happened. If nothing happened and Amnon did not disgrace the family, then he would have not been killed, his sister would maintain her honor, and Absalom would have remained the entire time. But that is not what happened. Instead, Absalom deceived his father, got Amnon into a hard spot and had him killed. Interesting thought that he also uses other people to do the job for him.

But as a father imagine the feelings you would have. Your daughter is raped by your son, your son is killed by your other son, and then he is banished. Wow, the dad gets burned on this deal.

So after several years, Absalom is restored and King David gets his son back. This reminds me a little of the prodigal son. But it is a little different. However, in the end, the father is very happy to have his son with him again.

Put yourself in the shoes of the King, then Absalom, then Amnon, then the sister. It offers very different perspectives and viewpoints. I think of all of the sin surrounding this story. And how in the end, God used everyone involved to bring wholeness in a way. He was able to bring a positive end to a very painful and horrible situation.


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