He won over the hearts of the men of Judah so that they were all of one mind. They sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your men.” (2 Samuel 19:14 NIV)
The recent exploits of Absalom threatened to tear the Kingdom of Israel apart. When he died, there was no guarantee that David could regain the throne easily. The nineteenth chapter of 2 Samuel shows a king behaving in a magnanimous and conciliatory mood. He does not seize power with a show of aggressive and vengeful force.
When he is approached by Shimei, rather than enacting immediate revenge for the verbal and physical abuse he received, he extends mercy and a promise not to kill him. That does not mean he has forgotten … But it does display a conciliatory approach.
When he is approached by Mephibosheth, he hears the reasons for the lack of support. He does not get caught up in the hearsay argumentation. He considers the matter and rules in fairness. That displays a conciliatory approach.
When he appeals to the country, his words look to heal the nation. He looks to bring them back together in an understanding way, not holding grudges, indeed highlighting that by appointing Amasa, the general of Absalom’s troops, as the new general of the troops in place of Joab. That was a remarkable act of an olive branch of union. That displays a conciliatory approach.
David recognises kindness extended to him by the goodness of Barzillai by allowing him to retire to his own land. Not only that but he blesses his household by following whatever he requests. This magnanimous act reinforces the conciliatory approach of a king more mindful of what will make for peace for his kingdom.
Despite his efforts, there is still an issue between Judah and Israel, which goes to show it is not always possible to bring contentment, but it still pays to have a conciliatory approach.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden