Impartial Grace: 2 Samuel

For we must die, and are like water spilt on the ground, which can’t be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him.

(2 Samuel 14:14 , emphasis added)

David is ruling Israel and there is great upheaval in the Kingdom and in his own family. David’s son, Absalom, had committed a murder by taking revenge on his brother, Amnon. Amnon had sexually assaulted Absalom’s sister, Tamar. Absalom left town and was hiding. Joab, looking to trap David, sent a woman to him seeking counsel. The woman told David a story similar to what he was currently living through with Absalom. When the woman finished her testimony she asked David’s pardon of her son for the sin of killing his brother. David tried to put off giving an answer, but the woman insisted. David agreed that the woman’s son should be pardoned. Immediately, the woman wants to know why Absalom should not be considered for a pardon in the fashion David pardoned her son. The woman argues that God does not destroy a rebellious spirit right away. God waits. Perhaps the sinner will come to his senses. More likely, God “…devises means, that he who is banished may not be cast out from him.”

What’s David to do? He realizes Joab is behind the woman’s testimony, but that fact does not change the moral dilemma he faces. He decides in favor of his son and allows Absalom to return to Jerusalem and to live in peace. God “…devises means…” to keep His rebellious children from being separated from Him. Eventually, He gives The Way “so the banished may not be cast out from Him.”

The advocate for universal reconciliation applies these verses as proof that God is love and that He wills that all be saved. Consider how awful a man Absalom was, moreover, consider how terrible Amnon was. Consider David’s sin. People died because of these men. People were scarred because of these men. Yet, God “…plans ways so the banished one may not be cast out of him.” God is not willing that even one of His creation perish. This is Impartial Grace.