A question that I have been pondering during this last year was prompted by the story in 2 Samuel 14, about the widow from Tekoa who is sent to David by Joab to facilitate Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Her statement is, “…the king does not bring back his banished son”, indicating the ‘appropriate behavior’ based on the statement, “This is not what God desires, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.”
This is the rationale for David bringing Absalom back to Jerusalem, but was it good counsel, God’s counsel, or simply Joab’s manipulation?
It should be noticed that Joab often had his own motives for things, making behind the scenes moves to push the kingdom in directions he desired. So, the source of the statement comes overlaid with some less than pristine motives.
That being acknowledged, God has on numerous occasions used ‘shady characters’ to deliver spiritual truths.
My question is, if God did bring this into being, what does it tell me about the character of God? Is it consistent with what I learn in other places about God to make the statement that God doesn’t want those who are “banished” banished forever?
The principle which can be affirmed about God is that he is a ‘restorer’, a fixer. From the chaos as creation began, he brought order and structure. From a fallen humanity, through the second Adam, he brought redemption. He is patient, longsuffering, and hopeful toward his creation, always moving, shaping, and planning for a full restoration of all things.
Since God seems to be on the edge of his seat, ready to act in support of our efforts to return. Since he has historically acted ‘while we were yet sinners’, initiating our process to regain our earlier status, I find it consistent with what I know of the nature of our God to say that he does not want those who are banished, banished forever.