2 Samuel 19

2 Samuel 19

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2 Samuel 19 Commentary

by Hank Workman

What a mess.  After the death of Absalom, David is in overwhelming grief and it’s affecting the army who just fought for him.  The people of Israel are unsure of what to do.  Many are backtracking and trying to get back in his favor.  And a question of loyalty from the beginning is being discussed.  There’s a lot of finger-pointing.

The disorder is to be expected.  The turnaround began when Joab confronted the king telling him to ‘get his act together’.  Joab has many flaws, there is no doubt.  He was ruthless, violent and vengeful.  He also was David’s right-hand man who carried out the murder of Uriah, his brother Abner, and Absalom against the king’s orders.  He plotted with Adonijah against David, and in time, Solomon.  But he also was a brilliant planner and military strategist who was fearless.  His confidence did not stop him from bringing the ‘what for’ to David in this critical time.

Confrontation is never easy in particular when it’s someone who may have authority or seniority over us.  But there are times confrontation, the loving kind, is absolutely necessary to get the rudder back in the water to redirect the ship.  It was such a critical time for the nation and began with Joab speaking so clearly to David to set aside the mourning of one who had plotted to kill him and commend the troops who had fought for his victory.  David listened and did as was told.

I’m a firm believer that when we are in a position and there’s a need to confront someone, we must be attuned to the Holy Spirit.  It should never be out of anger and we must allow Him to help us gather our thoughts and take control of our emotions.  Facts about the situation must be at the forefront.  Restoration should be the goal.  As one who is confronted our first response is usually to have our own back up and not listen. We should if need be, step back from it all and seek the Holy Spirit to confirm what is being said and direct our next step.  It’s tricky business on both sides.

But as God’s desire is for wholeness and restoration is at the forefront, the aftermath of how we handle confrontation is the determining factor of what happens next.

2 Samuel 19 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

It’s an awkward moment when the rebels realize their rebellion has failed and the king they opposed is still in authority. Some of those who supported Absalom double down on their opinion that David should not continue to rule as king. They cite the fact that he fled the nation when Absalom gained strength.

David does not want to come back and rule if he will not be supported by everyone.

“The elders of Judah were reluctant to call David back to Jerusalem, perhaps because of their part in Absalom’s insurrection (2Sa 15:10-11). David asked his friends, the priests, to begin the movement to invite David back to his throne. Apparently, he did not want to come into Jerusalem without public support for his rule.”

Nelson’s Commentary

In order to win the approval of those who had backed Absalom, David agrees to promote his nephew, Amasa (who had commanded Absalom’s army) to Joab’s position of commander. This also may have been a disciplinary tactic against Joab for his murder of Absalom.

All of David’s decisions work together to bring peace and unity to the nation, and toward the end of the chapter, we find a beautiful story of redemption involving Shimei. If you remember, he demonstrated quite a potty mouth back in 2 Samuel 16.

“When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached.  6  He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on David’s right and left.  7  Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you worthless murderer!”

2 Samuel 16:5-7 HCSB 

Shimei is forgiven by David even though his rebellion is punishable by death. From here, David goes on to offer grace and understanding to Mephibosheth and appreciation to Barzillai. This is quite a turnaround from the David we saw at the beginning of this chapter when he was paralyzed by grief and unable to go out in public.

Sometimes we need a good confrontation to put reality in perspective and shake us from our selfish cycle of dysfunction. David’s grieving was not wrong, but there is a point where grief can paralyze us from following through with the responsibilities God has placed in front of us.

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