The Banished Restored
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. THE BANISHMENT. Absalom is living at Geshur. It is not his native place, it is not his fatherland; he is there an exile and a foreigner; he is living a life of banishment. As a transgressor Absalom is under sentence of the law, and in order to escape that sentence he is living at Geshur, a banished man. He has banished himself; his conscience acknowledges the crime that he has committed, and the justice of the doom that hangs over him, so he flees from his country, from his father's house. Here we have a picture of man's state as a sinner. Man, as a sinner, is living in banishment. Sometimes this banishment will make itself felt: there are times in which the soul of man will cast a longing thought back upon the Father's house, like the prodigal in the far-off land, when the famine pinches, when the pleasures of sin have worn themselves out, and a sense of want presses; then the memory of home comes up, These longings are but the memories of home, the sighing of men in banishment, for though the banishment has gone on through long generations, the memories of home have not altogether faded from the soul.

II. THE MEANS DEVISED. "Yet doth He devise means, etc." The expression seems to imply that there was a difficulty in the way. Means must be devised, wisdom must set to work to discover a plan, a scheme whereby the banished might be restored. What was the difficulty? The king was very anxious that Absalom should come back (2 Samuel 13:39). He made no secret of it. Joab perceived it. Here, then, was the king longing after his banished son. He loved him though he was a transgressor. Now translate the temporal into the spiritual. There is man,. as we have shown you, in a state of banishment, an exile from God's presence on account of sin, living far off from God; and there is God, full of love to the banished, longing for his return; but there is the difficulty — His love cannot set aside His justice. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" What means shall be devised? Where shall wisdom be found to solve the difficulty? The text says, God doth devise means. In the history you see there is a third person brought upon the scene. The king says nothing of bringing Absalom back. Absalom sends no request to be restored; but Joab takes the matter up, and by the political craft of which he was such a thorough master, he gains his end. Now in the means that God has devised, a third person appears, one comes between the Father and the banished one. He sees the Father's heart yearning over the lost; He knows that while God hates the sin He loves the sinner, and so he undertakes the matter. "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." Here is the means that He doth devise. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Yet doth He devise means." The gospel message is just the declaring of this. The difficulty is overcome; the barrier is removed; the way is open; there is nothing now to prevent God from receiving back the sinner, nothing to prevent the sinner from coming back in confidence to God. When the king was pacified toward Absalom, because of Joab's intercession, Joab, we read, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. There was no hesitation, no unwillingness on the part of Absalom to return. Joab told him that all was made right with the king, that the king longed for his return, and so he came at once to Jerusalem. But in spiritual things the matter is very different. The ambassador of Christ is continually urging the exiles to return. He tells them that peace has been made, propitiation for their sin, and that the Father is longing for their return, ready to welcome them, and receive them in His embrace of love. Yet there is hesitation, indifference, disinclination, procrastination, if not absolute neglect and scorn. Is banishment so sweet, is exile so to be desired? You know you are not happy, you cannot be, away from God, away from home. Then why hesitate; why demur; why halt between two opinions? Is it that you think of what you will have to give up? What! things which cannot satisfy, can impart no solid happiness, but must perish in the using, put them all into the balance, and you shall find them lighter than vanity itself.

III. THE RESULT. You have it in the last verse. "The king kissed Absalom." That kiss was the kiss of peace. It told of perfect forgiveness, it told of a reinstatement in the father's heart of love. So with those who accept the gospel message, and by faith in Christ return to God. They have the Father's kiss of peace. Theirs the promise, "I have blotted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins." "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." They are reinstated in the Father's favour and affection. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us that we should be called the sons of God." "The king kissed Absalom." There was no distance, no reserve. Freedom of access to God at all times through Christ is the portion of every true believer. The Father has no word of reproof or upbraiding for his repentant child. It is written, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

(R. Page, M. A.)

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 Atonement a Necessity
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