2 Samuel 19:2
And that day's victory was turned into mourning for all the people, because on that day they were told, "The king is grieving over his son."
Mourning in a RevivalHomiletic Review2 Samuel 19:2
Victory Turned into MourningJ. Parker, D. D.2 Samuel 19:2
Immoderate GriefB. Dale 2 Samuel 19:1-8

2 Samuel 19:1-8. - (MAHANAIM.)
This interview between David and Joab throws light upon the character of both, and the relations subsisting between them.

1. The best of men are by no means perfect. David's grief, although natural, and, in some respects, commendable, was unseasonable, excessive, and injurious; and exposed him to just reproof.

2. The worst of men are not altogether bad, but often exhibit admirable qualities. When Joab put Absalom to death against the king's order he was actuated partly by regard for the king's interest and the national welfare, "loyal disobedience;" he was also desirous of preventing unnecessary slaughter (2 Samuel 18:16), and showed a thoughtful concern for Ahimaaz (2 Samuel 18:19, 20, 22); and now, although his bearing toward the king was harsh and cruel (2 Samuel 3:24), he was fully justified in expostulating with him (as on another occasion, 2 Samuel 24:3).

3. The worst of men are often intimately associated with the best of men, and render them invaluable services; but their association is usually uncongenial, and productive of trouble and mischief (2 Samuel 3:39). By his great abilities Joab made himself necessary to David, and became confirmed in his high position (1 Chronicles 11:6); and by his complicity "in the matter of Uriah," he gained a despotic influence over him; hence his daring disobedience and overbearing attitude, and when the king, resenting his conduct, seeks to replace him as captain of the host, he strikes down his rival, then "calmly takes upon himself to execute the commission with which Amasa had been charged; and this done, 'he returns to Jerusalem, unto the king,' and once more he is 'over all the host of Israel'" (Blunt, 'Coincidences'). David's inordinate grief was -

I. REALLY REPRESENTABLE. "And the king covered his face," etc. (ver. 4). It was connected (as cause or effect) with:

1. The lack of due consideration of the moral causes of the event which he mourned over, and which was their natural and deserved consequence; and of the salutary influence which that event would have upon the nation. In surrendering himself to sorrow for the loss of his son, he was in some measure blind to the justice of his doom.

2. The absence of humble submission to the Divine will, such as he had previously displayed in "the day of his calamity" (2 Samuel 12:20; 2 Samuel 15:26; 2 Samuel 16:10).

3. The feeling of bitter resentment against those who had despised his commandment and disappointed his hopes. He would at first, perhaps, blame all his "servants;" and, when he was informed (2 Samuel 18:13) of the circumstances under which Absalom came to his end, would naturally regard the conduct of his executioners in its darkest aspect. "To understand this passionate utterance of anguish, we must bear in mind not only the excessive tenderness, or rather weakness, of David's paternal affection toward his son, but also his anger that Joab and his generals should have paid so little regard to his command to deal gently with Absalom. With the king's excitable temperament, this entirely prevented him from taking a just and correct view of the crime of his rebel son, which merited death, and of the penal justice of God, which had been manifested in his destruction" (Keil).

4. The neglect of urgent duties: thanksgiving to God for victory, the commendation of his faithful soldiers, the adoption of proper measures to confirm their attachment and secure peace and unity, the subordination of private grief to the public weal. "The deliverance that day was turned into mourning unto all the people," etc. (ver. 2). "Their hearty participation in the sorrow of their beloved king, for whom they had perilled their lives, soon changed to gloomy dissatisfaction at the fact that the king, absorbed in private grief, did not deign to bestow a look upon them" (Erdmann).

II. RUDELY REPROVED. "And Joab came into the house of the king," etc. (vers. 5-7). His reproof (2 Samuel 12:1) was:

1. Unfeeling, hard hearted, pitiless. He had no respect whatever for the natural feelings of the father; no sympathy with David's intense and peculiar emotion,

2. Unscrupulous and reckless; whilst declaring the truth in part (ver. 5), and as it appeared on the surface, casting unjust reproaches on the king for his heartless selfishness, ingratitude, and hatred (ver. 6).

3. Unbecoming the relation of a subject to his sovereign; in language and manner, as well as in substance.

4. United, nevertheless, with wise counsel and solemn warning. "And now arise, go forth," etc. (ver. 7). No doubt David felt greatly hurt; and "the immediate effect of his indignation was a solemn vow to supersede Joab by Amasa; and in this was laid the lasting breach between himself and his nephew, which neither the one nor the other ever forgave" (Stanley) But, convinced that he had given occasion for reproof, he now patiently submitted to it (Psalm 141:5.) "Hard natures and harsh words have their uses in life after all" (Scott). "The undisciplined word of Joab became a means of discipline to David, and the king turned from the destructive path into which unbridled feeling had led him."

III. READILY RESTRAINED and laid aside. "And the king arose," etc. (ver. 8). "He was stung into action, and immediately roused himself to the discharge of his royal duties." Would we overcome immoderate grief? We must:

1. Listen to the admonitions of truth, however disagreeable; and learn the evil of indulging it.

2. Receive the consoling assurances of Heaven, and pray for needful strength.

3. Repress it with prompt and determined effort.

4. Devote ourselves with diligence to necessary and useful activities.

"Heaven hath assigned
Two sovereign remedies for human grief:
Religion, surest, firmest, first, and best
Strength to the weak, and to the wounded, balm;
And strenuous action next."

(Southey.) Ordinary grief must be restrained within due bounds. But there is a sorrow - tender, hopeful, godly sorrow for sin, to which we may freely and fully surrender ourselves; for it always conducts to greater purity, strength, and joy. - D.

And the victory of that day was turned into mourning unto all the people.
The victory spoken of is a victory that was longed for, and yet when it came it was as intolerable as the sting of an adder. How is it that we are always wanting things, and often when we get them they are bitterness itself? David wanted to be rid of his enemies — he was in this case challenged to vindicate his own throne. This was no fight of his own forcing — he was obliged to meet the insubordination and the revolt of his own son. David, mighty king — you wanted to be rid of your enemies: they are dead: how now? "Yes," said he, "I wanted to be rid of my enemies, but not in that way." There it is again — it is always in some other way that we want our desire granted. You want to get clear of that son of yours? You don't. And you have said how much you would give if he were only out of the way. But all the while you made a great fatherly reservation when you said so, and a great motherly emphasis unexpressed was in your heart when you talked about his being out of the way. You meant somewhere — more comfortable, more useful, more happy. You did not mean out of the way in any tragic sense. O strange man — wild, tumultuous life. We want, and we don't want; we pray, and we don't want the answer, at least, not so — but thus, a crooked answer to a straight request. We are all trying for victory. See if that be not true. Every man, even the poorest, is aiming at some kind of victory in life. Think if this be not so, father, mother, child, man of business, man of letters, boy challenging schoolmate to a marble encounter — through and through life, every section of it, we are trying in some way to get the promised end. But we are taught here that there are occasions upon which the victory is not worth winning. Is that not so in most cases? What do men want? One says: Riches. He heapeth up riches and knoweth not who shall gather them — is the victory worth the winning? Another says: Well, I want to conquer that human heart, and make it mine — man's heart, woman's heart — saith the young. Is it worth doing? It may be, it may not be. I want that apple on the bough above — not that one, but the one higher. Is it worth fetching a ladder for? Try: you get it, but the worm had it first, and you spurn it with keen disappointment from your hand. It is well, therefore, for men, before they go out to battle, to answer the question — if I win, is it worth doing? — because there are victories that are defeats, there are triumphs that are stings, there are achievements that have nothing in them but graves and horrors and mockeries. Shall we say, without any desire to be too gloomy, that there is nothing upon earth out of God, out of Christ, that is worth doing, worth having? Are there any victories that cannot be turned into mourning? Blessed be God, there are victories that are followed by no compunction, no humiliation — blessings that have no sorrow in them. What is your complaint before God? What is the disease that is poisoning your blood, and burning in your marrow, and consuming your soul — your own peculiar diseases? Jealousy? Conquer it by the Spirit of God, pray about it, shut thyself up long months and have it out with heaven. It will be a victory for ever, unimpaired, complete, full of joyous self-content. What is thy disease, thou who dost say that jealousy is no element in thy constitution — what is thy plague? Self-indulgence, self-gratification, self-delight — self, self, self, morning, noon, and night. I alone, I am the world, think of me, comfort me, let me have my way, satisfy my want — is the key of thy life so struck, Conquer thyself. "If any man would be my disciple," saith Christ, "let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, not periodically, not with occasional heroism, but with steady, constant self-crucifixion, and let him follow Me." You have gone out to the battle. Hast thou won that battle? There is no other battle to be won; fight yourself — beat your-self — set the standard of a new being upon the fortresses and citadels of your own obstinacy, and then you may beat your sword into a ploughshare, and make a pruning-hook of your spear, for in your case there is no more war to be done. How is all this to be accomplished? The answer is as complete as the question is earnest and emphatic. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." We sometimes celebrate a mourning that shall be turned into victory, even the mourning of Christ the crucified Man, who said, "My soul is troubled, even unto death. Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" These are the words of mourning. "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth — Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations." These are the words of victory. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Unless we have known the bitterness of this mourning we never can know the joy of true victory.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Homiletic Review.
In the spiritual kingdom of God there are experiences akin to those recorded in the text; times when, amid victories that send a thrill of joy through heaven and may well excite hallelujahs in the Church below, the "sacramental host" feel like putting on sackcloth and sitting down to "weep between the porch and the altar." Such is the case often in times of revival, when God's spirit is poured out, and sinners are convicted and converted. Although it be an occasion for rejoicing and thanksgiving on the part of God's people, it is equally an occasion for humiliation and weeping. What are some of the reasons for mourning on the part of the Church in the midst of revival scenes?

1. That so few of God's professed friends enter actively into the work. The Spirit's presence in extraordinary power is a day of glorious opportunity, both for the Church and for sinners without. It is God's "set time to favour Zion." He then "waits to be gracious." It is "harvest time." Prayer has power to prevail. Souls are pressing into the kingdom.

2. That so many sinners are passed by and left in their sins, even in the day of special merciful visitation. We have witnessed and laboured in many revivals; seen a whole community shaken as by a "rushing mighty wind," and hundreds convicted and made to cry out, What must we do to be saved? And yet many were unmoved — only looked on and wondered or scoffed. And the Spirit passed by, and they were farther than ever before from salvation!

3. That so many are convicted who are not converted; wounded, but not healed. In times of revival, it is common for many sinners to be deeply interested, and even brought under conviction of sin, who never get farther.

4. That, in all probability, a large proportion of those who are not reached and rescued in a revival will finally perish in their sins! We dare not limit the power of God. But there is a world of fact to bear out the remark. The grace of God is at flood-tide in revival seasons: what hope when the ebb comes?

(Homiletic Review.)

Abiathar, Abishai, Absalom, Amasa, Barzillai, Benjamin, Benjamites, Chimham, David, Gera, Israelites, Joab, Joseph, Mephibosheth, Saul, Shimei, Zadok, Zeruiah, Ziba
Bahurim, Gilgal, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Mahanaim, Rogelim
Becometh, Bitter, Changed, Grief, Grieved, Grieves, Grieveth, Grieving, Mourning, Salvation, Saying, Sorrow, Troops, Victory
1. Joab causes the king to cease his mourning
9. The Israelites are earnest to bring the king back
11. David sends to the priest to incite them of Judah
18. Shimei is pardoned
24. Mephibosheth excused
32. Barzillai dismissed, and Chimham his son taken into the king's family
41. The Israelites expostulate with Judah for bringing home the king without them

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 19:2

     5952   sorrow

2 Samuel 19:1-7

     5088   David, character

National Sorrows and National Lessons
On the illness or the Prince of Wales. Chapel Royal, St James's, December 17th, 1871. 2 Sam. xix. 14. "He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man." No circumstances can be more different, thank God, than those under which the heart of the men of Judah was bowed when their king commander appealed to them, and those which have, in the last few days, bowed the heart of this nation as the heart of one man. But the feeling called out in each case was the same--Loyalty,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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