David continued to mourn the death of Absalom until Joab set him straight. David had shamed the people that saved his life by "loving those who hate him (Absalom) and hating those who love him" (his commanders and people). Joab warned that if David did not speak kindly to his servants, they would certainly mutiny. Thankfully, David followed Joab's advice, but the next thing David did was very significant and curious. David replaced Joab as his commander with Amasa. Here is what the commentators say about that:
David's appointment of Amasa was a shrewd political move. First, Amasa had been commander of Absalom's army, by making Amasa his commander, David would secure the allegiance of the rebel army. Second, by replacing Joab as commander in chief, David punished him for his previous crimes (3:26-29). Third, Amasa had a great deal of influence over the leaders of Judah (19:14). All of these moves would help to unite the kingdom. (The Life Application Bible, p.528)As a result, David won over all the men of Judah as though they were one man, and Judah led the way in inviting David to come back to Jerusalem. This put Shemei, who had cursed the king (16:5-13) in a very awkward position and he begged for forgiveness. The king temporarily granted it (because his last command to Solomon in 1 Kings 2:8-9 was to kill Shimei). David also restored half of Miphibosheth's property (see 16:4). Lastly, David rewarded Brazillai who had provided David with supplies (17:27-29).
The end of this chapter contains foreshadowing of things to come. Israel and Judah squabbled over David's return indicating a schism that was developing between them that will eventually lead to two separate kingdoms. Stay tuned.
From David's life, we see two men who were not afraid to confront the king: Nathan and Joab. Nathan confronted David when he was in sin, and Joab confronted David when he was on the verge of losing his authority as king.
Once, I had to confront someone who was in authority over me. It was very intimidating, because she was someone very well known, but she always told me how grateful she was that I confronted her.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.
2014 Update: That leader passed away in 2010.
When those you love need to hear the truth about themselves, can you speak the truth in love?
Here is a quote to ponder:
"There is a vast difference between putting your nose in other people's business and putting your heart in other people's problems."
The book Caring Enough to Confront is a very helpful book for this subject.
Lord, give us the courage and strength to "care-front" in love. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.