“Rather, (God) devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from Him.” (1 Sam. 14:14)

David is having his second “You are that man!” moment in two days.  The first is Nathan the Prophet, accusing David of stealing Bathsheba from the righteous and relatively poor Uriah.  Now it’s the wise woman from Tekoa with Joab’s words in her mouth accusing David to leaving his son Absalom banished.  Sometimes it takes a few different reminders to teach us the lessons God wants us to learn.

Who have you banished?  We all have people we have banished from our lives.  The friend who stabbed us in the back.  The family member who we simply don’t see anymore.  The co-worker who lives a different lifestyle than we do.  The stranger who is simply “too sinful” for our acceptance.  Who have you banished in your life?

Though we don’t like to admit or talk about it, God does banish some people from His presence.  That is what sin does.  As with Adam and Eve when they had to leave Eden, our sin causes us to be banished from the good God wants for us.  But, as the wise woman from Tekoa reminds us, He doesn’t leave us banished.  God devises a way so that we who are banished are able to return.  That way is the cross of Jesus Christ.  Through Jesus’ atoning death in our place, taking our punishment, our banishment, upon Himself, we are given a path out of sin’s banishment and back into the Good Life God has in store for us.  All we have to do is receive it.

But there’s a catch.  To receive this free “get out of banishment” card, we have to first give that card to those we have ourselves banished.  Only then, when we are done banishing others, can we truly accept God’s great gift of a return to Grace.

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