The Tekoite and Divine Devising
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…

I. THOSE WHO ARE IN A STATE OF EXILE OR ALIENATION FROM GOD ARE SO BY THEIR OWN ACT AND WISH, NOT BY GOD'S. Like Absalom, who was vain, cruel, treacherous, selfish, heartless, ambitious and murderous, we have yielded to sin. Like him, conscious of guilt, but finding temporary security in the Court at Geshur, we have known we were sinful, but we have thought that any time would do to acknowledge it. We in this world are where God can reach am. Hope and restoration are possible here; but, alas; there is a state in which alienation can become eternal, in which hope and faith in Divine mercy are impossible. Banished now, alas, by our own act, by our own hardness and unbelief, we may be, we can be, certainly still further banished. God pities us but He cannot and will not compel us to love Him. A stream among the Mendip Hills, after rising in the darkness far away under the hills, pursues for miles its rapid, winding way among the caverns, and then, just beneath one of those rocky buttresses of the sky," in the Cheddar gorge, suddenly emerges into the light, spreads itself in a small lake, then rushes over a weir, turns a mill, cleanses pampas grass, receives the poisonous washing and refuse of paper mills, plunges under dark tunnels, then away through the open meadows to the sea. Thus with our life, rising in mystery it pursues its way subject to various evil influences, and call either be cleansed or can plunge again into the caverns of darkness or be carried on into the bright open sea. We are in the light now. We have the power, which is denied to a river, of refusing to be subject to the inflow of evil. We can pray. We can look up to God. We can say pardon, cleanse, save us. We can implore God to turn again our captivity as streams in the South. We call say with intensity, "God, save thy banished from being expelled from Thee!"

II. THE MEANS GOD DEVISES TO SAVE MAN FROM FURTHER ESTRANGEMENT. The Tekoite in speaking of God as "devising means" to bring back the banished, had caught a marvellously clear glimpse of a coming Gospel. This was one of the rays shot up above the sombre hills of intervening years and ceremonial observances, telling of that rising sun of Divine love that afterward shone in midday effulgence from the cross on Calvary.

1. The Sabbath is His institution to give man rest and an opportunity of thinking of his eternal interests. It was "made for man," and was intended not only for physical rest but spiritual.

2. Revelation is another way of bringing man back. To Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, God has revealed Himself. Through them and others He has spoken to us.

3. By the institution of public worship, whether round the altar on the hill-top, in the tent at Shiloh, in the temple at Jerusalem, in the synagogues scattered in many lands, or in the churches that have risen all over the world. He has been arranging to draw men from sin and make them glad when they "go up to the house of the Lord."

4. The arrangement of a sacrificial system is in harmony with the ideas of all ages and all races as a means of restoration to the Divine presence. In the sacrifice of Christ our restoration is assured by the death of Him who suffered, "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." The sacrifice of Calvary was not a mere device, but the natural outcome of the Divine love. Through the intervention of the woman of Tekoah, an exiled son was restored, but only to yield to deeper sin. When we are brought back by Divine mercy, it should be to let the purity of the life emphasise the gratitude of the heart. Christ intercedes; God waits to receive the banished; but the means He has devised are not always availing. Man's indifference and devilish opposition, alas! can spoil the effect of even the Divine devisings.

(F. Hastings.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: For we must die, and are as water split on the ground, which can't be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him.

The Return of the Banished
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