David had acted irresponsibly by not taking action regarding Absalom's murder of Amnon. Joab saw the wide gulf between David and Absalom and used a parable told by the woman of Takoa (seven miles south of Bethlehem and birthplace of the Prophet Amos) to let David see the error of his ways (See 2 Samuel 12:1-5 for another parable that got through to David).
In this parable, the woman was worried that because one of her sons killed the other, her other relatives would kill her only remaining son, leaving her penniless and without a son to carry on her husband's name. Numbers 35:9-21 talks about how blood avengers were to pursue murderers, and the woman asked for David's protection. David promised it, and she accosted him with the meaning of her parable. If he could grant amnesty and mercy to an unknown murderer, surely he would grant it to his own son who had intentionally murdered!
David figured out that Joab was behind it and invited Absalom back to Jerusalem but would not see him face to face. Absalom showed more of his terrible character by setting fire to Joab's field when he could not get Joab to intervene. Finally, after two years, Joab intervened and the handsome, self-centered Absalom was invited into David's presence. As we shall soon see, it was only a temporary peace. Absalom's heart was cold, and his character was already set toward rebellion and destruction.
I love the picture of God's mercy painted by the woman of Takoa:
For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from Him. (2 Samuel 14:14)
God has planned a way for us, my friends! We, too, were meant to be banished ones, but we have been brought near by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Hallelujah!
Bathe in your Heavenly Father's mercy toward you today by meditating on Ephesians 1 & 2 or the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
Father, thank You that You have provided a way out of our banishment through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that brought us near to You. We look forward to seeing You face to face in eternity. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.