The battle for king is over. David is the victor. But he won’t come back until asked to do so by the people. It’s time to wait. A little nudge in that direction might not be bad though.
We are not told how long it took from Absalom’s death until David was invited back as king. It had to be more than a day because it took time for the people to discuss the issue and for their conversations to make their way back to David. I’m imagining a couple of weeks or a few months at most before David sent his message.
Israel is talking about bringing him home but not his own tribe. I wonder what they were waiting for. David apparently valued their loyalty above all the other tribes. He sends word to Judah alone to bring him back. Being as that word was sent to Zadok and Abiathar I’m assuming that Jonathan or Ahimaaz made the delivery.
The tribes of Israel recognized the situation they were in. They had no king. The one they originally had they had disrespected by crowning another in his place. Their second choice has fallen to their previous king. To top all that off, David was a good king for them. He defeated all their enemies and treated them well. They got sold a bill of goods. Now they want things like they used to be.
So why didn’t David hear any rumors from Judah along these same lines? Why was Judah’s voice absent among the tribes? Judah was the first to originally crown David. I would have expected them to be first in line to bring him back. And apparently David thought so too.
Is it possible that David feared that the ‘talk’ of Israel was going to wind up as just that? By invoking his ‘family’ he got things rolling. He knew just how to talk to them. “Don’t let someone else beat you to the punch. After all, we are family and families stick together.”
In my estimation, David was a humble king but he also knew this was the job God had called him to. He didn’t force himself on the people. He didn’t gain power by political maneuvering. He didn’t rise to the throne through violence. He placed himself in plain view then waited on the people to make the next move. David did fight against the remainder of Saul’s house after Saul’s death but he didn’t presume to grab the throne when it was empty. I wonder if that fight was more a defensive fight for David.
God has a plan for each of our lives. Seldom is it a straight line from A to B. There are side roads that WE get distracted and wander onto. There are training grounds that God puts in our path so we will be ready for the tasks ahead. There are pits that we fall into because of sin that we have to climb back out of. There are ‘bus stops’ where we have to wait until God sends the right opportunity to us. But each of these points are part of our journey. They make us who we are and help us as we grow into the person God knows we will eventually be.
David was at a ‘bus stop’, waiting for his opportunity. But he wasn’t sitting quietly and waiting, He was actively scanning his surroundings, looking for his ‘bus’ that would take him where he knew he was supposed to go. I think I could go so far as to say ‘he hired a driver for the bus he wanted.’ His ‘driver’ was more than willing to do the job. That decision will come with consequences of its own though. I wonder what would have happened if he had waited patiently. But that is a story for another day.
Father God, thank You that You know my future. You know the plans You have for me. I can trust You to bring the ‘bus’ I’m supposed to catch by right on schedule. Help me know which one to get aboard! I’ve hopped on the wrong one more than once. Yet even those You turned into needed lessons. Thank You that I am never so far off track that You can’t bring me back.