Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Verse of the Day

"We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up. But God will not take a life; he will devise plans so as not to keep an outcast banished forever from his presence." 2 Samuel 14:14 (NRSV)

I found this argument really interesting. The speaker is the "wise woman from Tekoa" (also the hometown of the Prophet Amos) who has been sent by Joab to David to intercede for Absalom. Just like Nathan in ch. 12 she sets David up by telling him a story to which he responds with judgment and then turns his judgment back on him. Her claim is interesting because on the one hand we have manifest evidence from throughout the history of the people of Israel that God will indeed take a life but that he also devises plans to restore the outcast. Just a very short time after this encounter David will himself be banished from God's presence when he flees Absalom's rebellion but commands the priests and the ark to remain in Jerusalem saying, "Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, 'I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him." (2 Sam. 15:25-26). David is only able to return to God's presence after Absalom is defeated. But there is also the ultimate divine plan to restore the outcast, Jesus' death and resurrection for those who were his enemies and banished from God's presence by their sin.

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