Scripture: “Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?” 2 Sam 19:10.
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THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE KING’S RESTORATION.
It is to be noted that it was the king who initiated contact with the people. Like the Prodigal’s father, he was watching for signs of a return. Consider:
I. THE WORDS OF THE KING.
“And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house. Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king? And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab,” 19:11-13.
He will not force himself upon his people, Hosea 5:15.
- His messengers. The priests, the teachers of the law. Task of preachers today!
- Those spoken to. The elders. Here is divine order.
- He reminds them of their close ties with him. Amasa was his nephew. I am sure these words would have resonated with more than just Amasa. We belong to the family of God, not this world.
- He speaks of forgiveness and restoration. Despite Amasa’s siding with Absalom, David promised to advance him.
II. THE IMPACT OF THE KING’S WORDS
“And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants,” verse 14.
- His words reached their hearts. Is this not missing today!
- His words bend them down low. We need a touch of ‘judgment day’ humility. Romans 14:11-12. 2 Chron 7:14, Hosea 10:12, Lam 3:40-41.
- There was unity amongst them. O happy day when the people of God are united in their submission before Christ. They were acting and speaking as one!
III. THE INVITATION TO RETURN.
“They sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants,” v 14. A return to how things were! Jer 6:16, Joel 2:15-18.
- ‘Return’ – Meaning of the word: Genesis 3:19, 8:3, 9. Here we see what a complete restoration to a former state is inferred by this word ‘return’. This is a restoration of our hearts and affections to our ‘first love’!
Before the Prodigal enjoyed the blessings of the father’s house, he restored the honour and obedience due to his father!
- ‘Thou’. The invitation was directed to the king first of all. It was he who was chiefly rejected and offended and slighted.
- ‘And all thy servants.’ When we reject the king, we reject His servants also but here we see restoration for them as well. I see in this a restoration of the writings of the prophets etc to the place of honour from which they had been cast down by our backsliding!
IV. THE MEETING OF THE KING AND HIS PEOPLE.
“So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan,” v 15.
- The place of death, ‘Jordon’, was the meeting place. We must die to self and sin. That is the birthplace of revival.
- Note the mention of Gilgal. The place where the Covenant with God was renewed, Joshua 5:1-8. It was there that the Lord ‘rolled away the reproach of Egypt’ from off Israel, verse 9.
The Lord was ‘first’ in their lives again!
- As Israel was conveyed over Jordon dry foot, so was David carried over. Joshua 3:17. See Isaiah 62:10 – the removal of obstacles to a returning!
It is possible that it was the place where John later baptised and introduced the ‘KING’ to Israel, John 1:28-29. ‘Bathabara’ = ‘House of the ford’. We need such a vision of Christ again.
Such is the return, the restoration we require today if we are to enjoy again the blessings of our sins taken away, that which was known in former times!