So what we have seen in the last couple of posts from 2nd Samuel 19 is that Judah and Israel have themselves in a quandary in that Absalom is dead and they have run David off, so how is Israel and Judah going to get out of this mess that they find themselves in? Well, David is going to help them, let us look here in verse 11 and following: 11 Then King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’” 14 Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan.
The first thing David does is makes sure that Judah is with the rest of Israel in wanting him to come back. Israel has decided they want David back as king but Judah has been quiet on the issue which is strange. This is like winning a landslide victory and losing your home state. Judah is his home tribe and he has not heard anything from them on him being king. Everyone but Judah has declared their desire for David to return to the throne. You have to wonder, why not Judah? Maybe they were afraid, because they had been forefront in Absalom’s rebellion. Regardless, David shows his humility and forgiveness as he tells them he does not want to do this without them. Talk about forgiveness and humility – this is such a great example for us all. Do you live with forgiveness and humility like this? We all should!
David calls on his two friends who are priests, Abiathar and Zadok. These two are good friend and David sends word to them and says, “Why haven’t I heard from you? I’m sure not going to come back without you all being involved in this.” So he is helping by getting everyone on board before he steps back into leadership of the whole country. He is not rushing into anything – again a great example for us – how are you at being patient and allowing things to develop?
The next thing David did was to replace Joab with Amasa. Amasa is the guy that led the battle against David because he was the leader of Absalom’s or Israel forces. He is also David’s cousin and from Judah. He is taking over as the command of the army with a track record of one loss, no victories. The guy he is replacing, Joab, had a string of victories over thirty years and it appears he never lost a war. Joab is a seasoned military genius and has just finished winning the biggest battle of all which was giving back David the kingdom. Now you have David replacing him with the guy he beat. It seems so strange. We have to ask, why is David doing this? I believe that most likely, David has by this time heard the whole story of how Absalom died and that Joab thrust the spears that killed his son so he is demoting him. I do not believe that to be the only reason because I think it also a political move in that it was to offer a gesture of reconciliation to the former supporters of Absalom in Judah.
The results are seen in verse 14: Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants. What you will see with this move will be short term positives but some long term negatives, but for now it does though bring David back to control of the country.
Again remember that David wisely does not try to take the kingdom by force but rather waits until he is asked to return. He had already had to face a rebellion and he knew that if the people did not of their own free will ask him to again reign over them as king, that any attempt to force them would only result in a further rebellion. By waiting until he was asked to reign again as king, David acted as a type of Christ figure. Jesus will not force His rule over any person against their will. People have to ask the Lord to come into their life before He will come and rule over them and be their Lord. We have to by our own free will allow Jesus to rule in our lives. Have you allowed it? If you have – have you pushed him off the thrown and started living life selfishly again? Allow Jesus on the throne or to come back to the throne of your life! It will change your life!
Have you ever found yourself in a quandary like this? How did you get out of it? What do you think of David replacing Joab with Amasa?