Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. The king
said, "He may return to his house, but he is not to see me
face-to-face." So Absalom returned home, but was not permitted to see
the king. 2 Samuel 14:23-24 (TM)
David finally relents to allowing his rebellious son back into Jerusalem, but he doesn’t reconcile with him. I’m sure David felt he was making a huge gesture by allowing Absalom back into the city, but what good is physical proximity if he wasn’t going to deal with the heart-matters between them. David’s hardened heart and refusal to make things right with Absalom were about to shake his entire kingdom. What a great example of why Jesus taught that you should get your relationships right before presuming to worship (Matthew 5:23-24).