Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

The woman uses religion to convince David

2 Samuel 14:14

The woman uses a series of arguments to convince David that he should allow the return of his son, Absalom. Her next argument is about religion and the character of God.

Our lives are like water, she says. If someone spills water, it soon disappears. So, life is precious, but only while it lasts. If we waste our lives, we will soon lose the opportunity to do anything good with them.

Amnon was dead, and he would never return. Absalom, who killed him, was wasting his life in a foreign country. While David delayed, he (David) was wasting his opportunity to deal with this matter. That was what the woman argued.

She urged David to remember the great kindness of God. God does not desire even a wicked person to die (Ezekiel 18:23). Instead, he wants to forgive. He brings back people who, because of their evil deeds, are far from him. God had done that for David (12:1-13). Now the woman urged David to do it for Absalom.

The woman’s argument was powerful, but there are many difficulties in it. God forgives people only when they turn from their evil deeds, and back to him (Isaiah 1:16-18). He does not do it in many ways but only in the one way that he has chosen (Hebrews 10:19-20; Hebrews 9:22). Even when he forgives the guilty person, that person must still deal with the results of his evil deeds (12:10-14).

It is interesting to compare this verse with Numbers 35:33. There, God compares the life of a person who dies by murder, not to water, but to blood. Unlike water, blood that spills does not disappear. It leaves its mark on the ground. Therefore, God says, his judges must punish the person who is guilty of murder.

Next part: David alone had power to bring Absalom back (2 Samuel 14:15-16)


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