An Unlikely Teacher


November 5, 2012

King David’s life is surrounded by pictures of God’s grace and passion for His people. In 2 Samuel 14, though, David gets a lesson about God’s grace from a very unlikely source, and it is a message that’s just as powerful today.

The setting is this. David is king and his son Absalom has fled and is in hiding because he had his brother killed. David longed to be reconciled with his son, but couldn’t bring himself to welcome him, so the two remained separated.

Eventually, one of David’s men arranged a plan for Absalom to be reconciled to his father, the king. He set David up by sending a woman to him who tells him a concocted story about her son who is in hiding because he killed his brother. David gets drawn in (apparently David likes a good story) and commits to help. The woman pulls an end around on him and asks why he won’t extend the same grace to his own son.

She says, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son.  All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him” (2 Samuel 14:13-14 NLT).

I enjoy the story because of the way David is drawn in. But more than that, the truth that the woman speaks about the grace of God is moving to me. She says, “God devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.”  He doesn’t just lavish His grace on us. He actually devises ways for us to be reconciled to Him. God’s passion for our reconciliation is such that He devises ways for us to be reconciled. What great love He has for us!


About the Author:

Jeff Franks is the founder and director of Being Formed Resources, which provides experientially-based spiritual formation resources, pastoral counseling, and small group ministry. He also trains people to lead formational prayer at Ashland Theological Seminary. He spent 15 years serving the church in full-time ministry before starting Being Formed. He resides in Wooster with his wife Kelly and three daughters.

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