For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him. 2 Samuel 14:14
Absalom flees the country after murdering Amnon, his half-brother, to avenge the rape of Tamar, Absalom’s sister. Now, Joab, Daivd’s commander perceived that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So, he sent a wise woman to ask David to bring Absalom back. David agreed, but he would not let Absalom see his face for two years. Absalom sent for Joab, David’s commander. So Absalom set a field that belonged to Joab on fire to get his attention. When Joab finally came, Absalom sent him to his father to see him and David granted the request.
[Wise woman to David] … we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.
…So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” … your servant Joab commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant.
21 And the king said to Joab, “All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom.”…. And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, but did not see the king’s face. 29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And when he sent again the second time, he would not come. 30 So he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom’s house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 And Absalom answered Joab, “Look, I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” ‘ Now therefore, let me see the king’s face; but if there is iniquity in me, let him execute me.” 33 So Joab went to the king and told him. And when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.
–> David was willing to be persuaded by people under him. This shows his humility and gentleness. God is also willing to be persuaded by men, his creation.
I can substitute the title of this chapter — Joab’s Scheme for Absalom’s Return — with “God’s Scheme for His People’s Return.” God is like Joab who perceives our need and devises a solution. He put words in someone’s mouth so that He may speak to us. And God is like David who listens and relents. He has done everything.