It’s not as easy as speaking to someone directly. Sometimes people just don’t hear that way. But put the situation outside of themselves in story form, and a person will be quick to render judgment.
That’s exactly what happened here. Joab, David’s military general, was concerned for David. David’s son Absalom had killed his other son Amnon. David grieved them both deeply.
So Joab asked a woman to go to the king and tell him a story. She told him she had two sons that fought and one killed the other. And now everyone was trying to kill the one that remained to get justice. But if that son was killed, she would have no sons left to carry on the family name.
Then coming to her aid, he tells her that no one will hurt the son that remains. It’s then that she basically says, “I’m talking about you and your son Absalom. You’ve banished him and all suffer because of it, including you.”
Then she says something extraordinarily beautiful about the nature and character of God:
“He [God] would devise plans so that the one banished from Him does not remain banished” (2 Sam 14:14).
God devises plans and ways to restore the guilty. Is this not the gospel? Surely this woman understood the heart of God.
David realized he has been set up and that Joab is behind it. So David says Absolom his son can return home but he is just not allowed to see the king. And Absalom does so.
But after two years Absalom is frustrated. What’s the point of being home if he can’t connect with his family? Would it not be better for him to be away and on his own?
With that he seeks to go meet his father. Bowing low before his father David, the king, David draws him near and kisses him in the cultural way of a father to a son in restoration.
What a beautiful picture.
The banished come home.