Brethren Archive
2 Sam. xix. 9-15

Bringing Back the King.

by Ada Ruth Habershon

THE beautiful words in 2 Sam. xix. 9-15 seem to suggest in type, that our Lord may be waiting for some word of welcome.  Though we have no warrant for asserting that the lack of it has kept Him from returning, we may with certainty affirm that such a word from loyal hearts would gladden Him exceedingly.  It was at the darkest time in David’s history when he had been obligated to vacate the throne and the city and forced to flee for his life because his son had revolted, after having treacherously won the hearts of the people from their king.  Absalom had been slain, and there seemed nothing to prevent the king from returning.  But there was just one thing!  He was waiting to be brought back by the men of his tribe, the men of Judah.  Others in Israel were actually at strife about it and were indignant to think that those who owed him so much, had not insisted on his return.  “Now, therefore, why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?”  Then king David sent a message by the faithful priests, Zadok and Abiathar saying, “Speak unto the elders of Judah saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house . . . Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh; wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king?”  And the message took instant effect.  “He bowed the hearts of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king—Return thou.”
The exquisite story, so full of pathos, needs no comment.  But it may be that the Lord of glory, David’s greater Son, is also desirous of sending a message to those who “are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Eph. v. 30), asking why they do not in like manner call Him back.  It is a remarkable fact that there has not been a united cry of this sort.  To quote from a recently published book, “The Lord is called ‘The Coming One,’ and He will yet fulfil the promise of His Name.  'Surely I am coming quickly' are His last recorded words, spoken from the throne in Heaven.  But their fulfilment awaits the response He looks for from His people: 'Amen, come, Lord Jesus!'  There is not a church in Christendom that would corporately pray that prayer today."
This is, alas, too true; but if David could bow the hearts of his disloyal and guilty subjects as the heart of one man, surely our Lord could move even the hearts that have grown cold, and those that have for a time forgotten their allegiance and have followed other leaders.  How speedily He could make even these unite with the loyal-hearted ones to beg Him to come back, like the men of Judah who "sent this word unto the king—Return!"  And surely if He did so, the result would be the same—"So the king returned."
Let us then, who are longing for His coming, pray that He may bow hearts thus, so that the multitudes of His people may gladden His heart and “speak a word of bringing the King back.”
“Our Hope” 1912


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