Late Reflection and Appreciation
2 Samuel 19:9
And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies…

The rebels against King David having been defeated, and their chosen leader slain, they bethink themselves of their position and of the claims of their injured sovereign; and begin to stir up each other to obtain his return and reinstatement. Their words are obviously true; but the facts they now recognize were as truly facts when they rose in rebellion. It was only their feeling with respect to them that had changed. So it is commonly. Under the excitement of sinful feeling, the most obvious truths are forgotten and neglected. Well is it when there is a reawakening to their significance, and a consequent return to the path of duty. Especially desirable is it that all who are living without any due feeling of the claims of their great King should become sensible of them, and begin to render them a practical recognition.


1. His nature. Divine and human; including all qualifications for rule.

2. His Divine appointment. Signified in manifold ways.

3. The deliverance he has wrought. It is here said of David, "The king saved us," etc. Our Lord has saved us in a more marvellous way, from enemies more to be dreaded than the heathen that harassed Israel. He has conquered, in personal conflict and through suffering unto death, Satan, the world, sin, and death. He has thus "saved us out of the hand of our enemies," including those that, like the Philistines in relation to Israel, are nearest to us and most ready and able to harass us - our own special besetting sins. True, the deliverance is not yet completely accomplished in actual experience; but it is assured, and as really ours, if we are Christ's, as if we were already perfectly freed from all evil

II. THE INSENSIBILITY TO THESE CLAIMS WHICH COMMONLY PREVAILS. Looking at the lives of most men, even where Christ is made known, it is painfully manifest that they have no due sense of his rights and their duty to him; for they do not submit their minds, hearts, and lives to his government.

1. Causes of such insensibility.

(1) A depraved nature, whose spiritual sensibilities are further suppressed and benumbed by the practice of sin.

(2) Absorption in worldly pursuits. Leaving no opportunity for higher matters to attract attention, no time to think of them.

(3) Unconcern as to the enemies from whom Christ delivers. No conviction of sin; no sense of the evil of it; no desire for rescue from its guilt or power. The Deliverer, therefore, excites no real interest.

(4) Familiarity with the truth. The habit of hearing, or reading, or even repeating it, without accepting it; or of assenting to it without really believing it; or of accepting (in a sense) the atonement, and relying on Jesus for pardon, without receiving him as King. The process also of indulging feeling and sentiment about Christ, without rendering obedience; and of resisting the feelings which prompt to obedience, thus resisting and grieving the Holy Spirit. In this way the gospel becomes a means of hardening the heart against itself.

(5) The attractions of some pretender to the throne. As Absalom "stole the hearts of the men of Israel" (2 Samuel 15:6) by his youth, beauty, activity, assiduous attentions, insinuating address, and hints as to the defects of his father's government, and the improvements which he would make if he were in power; so the hearts of many are withdrawn from the Lord Jesus by the attractions of some newly revived system of error in philosophy or religion, or anti-religion, of which the novelty (to them) is charming, and the representations of human nature more flattering, and the demands less exacting. The old king comes to be regarded and treated as worn out, quite unsuited to the needs of an enlightened and scientific age; and the young pretenders are welcomed, one by one class, and another by another, with shouts of joy and paeans of anticipated victory.

2. Effects of such insensibility.

(1) Negatively, in the prevention of faith and love, loyal obedience and active service.

(2) Positively, by leading to disaffection and active rebellion; as in the case of Israel and David.

III. THE HAPPY AWAKENING WHICH IS OFTEN EXPERIENCED. As in the case of the Israelites in respect to David. This may be produced:

1. By calamity. As the Israelites were awakened by defeat and disaster. Troubles stir the conscience, lead the soul to look around for support, throw an unusual light on objects, reveal the vanity of cherished dependencies, prepare for due appreciation of those which are solid and satisfying; and so lead to a right appreciation of Christ.

2. By impressive presentation of forgotten facts. As by the tribes of Israel to each other, reminding of their obligations to David, and the ill requital he had received from them. It may be a sermon heard with unaccustomed interest, or some part of the Holy Book read with a new perception of the significance and importance of its teaching, or the appeals, of a friend, or the statements of a tract, or words of parents or teachers long ago, recurring with new power to the mind; whatever it be that stirs the heart to consideration and renders it sensible of the rights and worth of Christ, blessed are the means, blessed the moment when such effects are produced.

3. Always by the enlightening and convincing Spirit. Whose work it is to reveal and glorify the Son of God (John 16:14).

IV. THE CHANGE PRODUCED BY THIS AWAKENING. Similar to that in the text.

1. In conduct.

(1) Return to allegiance, loyalty, and service to the rightful Sovereign. Incitement of others to return.

2. In position. The returning rebels are accepted, and restored to the privileges of faithful subjects. Not because the heavenly King is, like David, dependent on his subjects, needing them as much as they him, but of pure grace. However long they may have been insensible and rebellious, on coming to a sense of their duty, and seeking forgiveness, they are pardoned and restored to favour. Lastly, the awakening may come too late, producing terror and remorse, but not repentance, and importunate prayers which are unavailing (see Luke 13:24-28). - G.W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.

WEB: All the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom.

The Restoration of David
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