2 Samuel 14:14
For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does God respect any person…
In these words of the wise woman there was a great principle of truth, which was wrongly applied in this instance. David had no right whatever to interfere with the law of God. The law of God said that the murderer should die, and David had no authority to interfere with what God had designed. There was provision made that by fleeing to one of the cities of refuge Absalom might have his case legally investigated; and if there was any doubt as to his being the culprit he might be legally acquitted. David had power to interpose this legal examination, but he had not power to interfere with the due course of the law, as laid down by God Himself, except indeed there should be any doubt respecting the application of God's law to the present case, or except there should be any doubt as to Absalom's guilt. But we will not dwell further upon the immediate application of the words the principle contained in them is one of universal application. "We must needs all die, and be as water spilt upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again."
I. DEATH MUST BE CONSIDERED IN ITSELF AS AN EVIL, We have in this generally admitted truth an intimation or proof that there is a quarrel existing between man and his Maker, between the creature who is crushed sooner than the moth, and the Creator who is "the Ancient of days," the eternal and infinite God. Is it of no consequence that such a quarrel as this exists? Can we contemplate the reality of it, as evidenced by the death of our fellow-creatures, and our own liability to death, without serious thought taking possession of our minds, as to the necessity of reconciliation with God? The quarrel must be made up, or we are ruined for ever; the quarrel ought to be made up immediately, or we may be beyond the reach of reconciliation.
II. THE UNEXPECTED PROVISION WHICH GOD IN HIS GOODNESS HAS MADE FOR OUR COMFORT AND PEACE. We read in the text, "Neither doth God respect any person: yet doth He devise means that His banished be not expelled from Him." You will see this rendered in the margin, "Because God hath not taken away his life, He hath also devised means that His banished be not expelled from Him," which intimates that, although a quarrel does exist between the sinner and his Creator, God does not proceed at once to determine the quarrel, seeing that He has made provision for that sinner's restoration and security; He has devised means by which the banished may be restored, and meanwhile preserved. Now, see this provision of God's goodness typified under the Jewish law. The manslayer who had unwittingly slain a brother or a neighbour was by the law expelled from society; but there was a provision made that if he fled to the city of refuge, and it should be proved there that he had not intentionally slain his brother or his friend, then at the death of the high priest he should be set at liberty, and allowed to return again to his family circle. You observe in this that God "devised means by which His banished might not be for ever expelled from Him." We see the same provision also in the case of the leper, See, again, how this provision is announced in the Gospel of Christ. All the typical institutions of the law were intended to shadow forth the great truths of the Gospel. The manslayer and the leper betoken the state of the sinner under the condemnation of the Divine law, and unfit, on account of his pollution, for the society of God and His angels. He is therefore considered in the eye of God as a banished person, who can never obtain admittance into the kingdom; but God has devised means by which the banished may be restored. The Lord Jesus Christ has come into the world and died for the sinner's guilt; He is now the great Refuge to whom, if the sinner flee, he shall be saved from the condemnation which he deserves. The moral and spiritual leprosy is thus cleansed; "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us, from all sin."
(W. Cadman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.