“For all my father’s household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should cry out anymore to the king?”
2 Samuel 19:28
With Absalom defeated, David is brought back into Jerusalem as Israel’s king. It is not as simple as David saddling up a donkey and heading home, but it is far less complicated than it might have been. As David returns home, he interacts with a couple people.
Shimei, the man who cursed David and threw rocks at him as he left, now shows up with a thousand men of Benjamin to bring David’s household across the Jordan (vv 16-23). The man is penitent, asking David’s forgiveness and receiving it.
Next, David meets Mephibosheth (vv 24-30) whom David was grieved not to see leave with him. Mephibosheth claims that his servant — Ziba, who showed up with Shimei to help bring David’s household across the Jordan (v 17) — had deceived him and taken off before Mephibosheth could get ready to go with David. Mephibosheth has on him all the marks of a man who has mourned the departure of his king since the day of hat departure (v 24). The interaction includes something of the flavor of Solomon’s future dealings with people seeking justice, as if the boy observed this moment in his father’s life and marked it as worthy of emulation.
There are others and this summary would wax as long as the chapter itself if all of the interactions were brought forward.
What strikes me about this event is the similarity I feel it has with the return of Christ. Both kings return to their throne after the defeat of a usurper and pretender. Both kings come with a retinue. Both kings are taking back a throne that is rightfully theirs. Both kings dispense mercy after the judgment has been meted out. The events feel similar, but not the precisely the same.
This tells me that I should be like Shimei and Mephibosheth. Like Shimei, I should repent of the things I have done to offend my King and should be looking for ways to serve. Like Mephibosheth, I should mourn the absence of my King and long for His return. Let me long for my King’s return and be ready and able to serve Him when He does.
Father, thank You for this account that reminds me that Jesus — Your Son and my King — will return. Let me be numbered among the loyalists and those who have repented of their old ways to be ready to serve the King and be a part of His Kingdom.