2 Samuel 14:21-43

Absalom Returns

21 Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I [l]will certainly do this thing; go then, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 And Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself, and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, in that the king has performed the [m]request of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king said, “He shall return to his own house, but he shall not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

25 Now in all Israel there was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the top of his head there was no impairment in him. 26 And when he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, because it was heavy on him, so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at [n]two hundred shekels by the king’s weight. 27 And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.

28 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, yet he did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent word again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s plot is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the plot on fire. 31 Then Joab got up, came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my plot on fire?” 32 Absalom [o]answered Joab, “Behold, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there.”’ Now then, let me see the king’s face, and if there is guilt in me, he can have me executed.” 33 So when Joab came to the king and told him, he summoned Absalom. Then Absalom came to the king and prostrated himself [p]with his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.

When David allowed Absalom to come back, it was as if he had been “unbanished”, but not restored. Truly, he was still banished from his father’s presence, which was no small thing.

So finally, Absalom convinces Joab to intervene, and the relationship is restored after waiting another two years. Though God does not keep His presence from us, it is still somewhat similar.

When we accept the sacrifice of His Son, we are restored. But yet, we still roam this earth in frail human bodies that could not look upon God and live. So we yearn for the day of His return, when we shall be made new. When the relationship will once more be complete, as it was in the garden.

The difference for us, is that we don’t know what that is like. Absalom knew his father’s love firsthand, and had felt his touch, his embrace, and his kiss.

For us, we see as in a “mirror darkly with a poor reflection”. But then we will see Him as he is. We will know God fully, and it will be beyond anything we’ve ever imagined.

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