2 Samuel 19:18
And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good…
There have been few scenes on the Jordan more interesting than that in which this ferry boat plays a part.
I. THE KING'S FERRY BOAT CARRIES US ACROSS THE JORDAN OF OUR CONDEMNATION, AND BRINGS US TO THE LAND OF FORGIVENESS. Shimei made his peace with David that day. He had been, in the time of David's great emergency, when he needed soldiers, a base and wicked traitor. So I bring to any poor sinner here the King's ferry boat, on which you may safely ride across the Jordan of your sins to the blessed shore of forgiveness; it is surrender to God and unconditional acceptance of Christ Jesus as your Saviour.
II. GOD CARRIES HIS PEOPLE ACROSS THE RIVER OF THEIR NEEDS. God's Word assures us that the Lord is not unmindful of the necessities of our human lives. Christ says: "Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things." The man who trusts God is a great deal better taken care of than he who proposes to neglect God and look out for number one. We shall never reach the limit of God's infinite grace and mercy by our most exaggerated dreams of good. Does not Paul assure us that God will supply all our need "according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus?" The one ferry boat that is sure to float you across the river of life's need is a genuine, wholehearted Christianity.
III. THE KING'S FERRY BOAT ACROSS THE RIVER OF TROUBLE AND SORROW. How abundant are the promises of God that those who join His household shall be ferried safely across all the sorrows and troubles of life!
IV. We may see also in this figure OUR KING'S FERRY BOAT ACROSS THE RIVER OF DEATH. God does not leave his saints to die alone. Two days before Mr. Moody's death there was placed in his room, unknown to him, a stenographer, who took every word that fell from the good man's lips. And in the last moments he said: "Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. You say this is death. There is nothing awful here; it is sweet, this place. Do not call me back. God is calling me, I must go. There is no valley here, it is all beautiful, beautiful." So Moody found, as millions of God's people have found before, that the King's ferry boat is roomy and splendid, and safe in carrying the King's household across the Jordan of death to the shores of that beautiful country "which eager hearts expect." The ferry boat will not be lonely in crossing any of these streams, for Christ is Captain, and there are no rules that keep us from speaking to him while he is on duty. We may hold sweet communion with him all the way. On the ferry boats which ply between Liverpool and the Cheshire side of the Mersey is the notice: "Passengers are requested not to speak to the captain or steersman while crossing the river."
(L. A. Banks, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan;