Joab procures Absalom's recall. (1-20) Absalom recalled.
(21-24) His personal beauty. (25-27) He is admitted to his
father's presence. (28-33)
We may notice here, how this widow pleads God's mercy, and
his clemency toward poor guilty sinners. The state of sinners is
a state of banishment from God. God pardons none to the
dishonour of his law and justice, nor any who are impenitent;
nor to the encouragement of crimes, or the hurt of others.
David was inclined to favour Absalom, yet, for the honour
of his justice, he could not do it but upon application made for
him, which may show the methods of Divine grace. It is true that
God has thoughts of compassion toward poor sinners, not willing
that any should perish; yet he is only reconciled to them
through a Mediator, who pleads on their behalf. God was in
Christ reconciling the world to himself, and Christ came to this
land of our banishment, to bring us to God.
Nothing is said of Absalom's wisdom and piety. All here
said of him is, that he was very handsome. A poor commendation
for a man that had nothing else in him valuable. Many a
polluted, deformed soul dwells in a fair and comely body. And we
read that he had a very fine head of hair. It was a burden to
him, but he would not cut it as long as he could bear the
weight. That which feeds and gratifies pride, is not complained
of, though uneasy. May the Lord grant us the beauty of holiness,
and the adorning of a meek and quiet spirit! Only those who fear
God are truly happy.
By his insolent carriage toward Joab, Absalom brought
Joab to plead for him. By his insolent message to the king, he
gained his wishes. When parents and rulers countenance such
characters, they will soon suffer the most fatal effects. But
did the compassion of a father prevail to reconcile him to an
impenitent son, and shall penitent sinners question the
compassion of Him who is the Father of mercies?