“For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.”
2 Samuel 14:14
Today’s verse is a quote from a wise woman from Tekoa who lived when David was King of Israel. In context, David’s general had commissioned the woman to seek an audience with the king, instructing her to say that one of her sons had died at the hands of his brother while they fought. She pleaded with the king to protect the guilty son from the hands of those who sought his life. Her pleas moved David’s heart and he guaranteed protection for the man-slayer. The woman then asked the king why he refused to bring his own guilty son, Absalom, home from exile (2 Samuel 14:13). She pointed to God’s merciful ways as an example for us to follow, a moral imperative echoed by no less authority than the Lord Jesus Himself (Luke 6:36). This is not the only allusion to the Lord’s care and concern for us; the woman’s statement in verse 14 is a spectacular encapsulation of the Gospel. As certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, we will “go the way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14; 1 Kings 2:2); it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). Nevertheless, death is an unwelcome intruder into God’s once perfect created order (Genesis 1:31; 1 Corinthians 15:26). At the dawn of human history, our first parents rushed headlong into sin and rebellion against God (Genesis 3). The consequences were disastrous and tragic. Both man and his environment were cursed (Romans 5:12; 8:20-22). Adam’s sin caused the banishment of humanity from Paradise (Genesis 3:24). The picture was bleak and seemingly hopeless. But, as the woman from Tekoa observed, God “devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.” We who are in New Covenant relationship with God see in her words a clear reference to the Gospel—God’s brilliant means of reconciling lost sinners to Himself. Paul declared that in the Gospel we see God’s matchless wisdom and prudence on display (Ephesians 1:8). That is, God not only devised a brilliant plan to save man from his sins (wisdom), but He also knew how to put His plan to practical application (prudence, insight). No one but the sovereign, covenant-keeping God of the Bible could have devised and implemented such a means of salvation. When we face seemingly hopeless situations, problems with no apparent solutions, may we remember that we serve an infinitely wise, powerful, and merciful God who devises means to provide for His people. May this be an encouragement to you today.
God bless, Pastor John