Absalom takes the “all the men of Israel” (17:24) and goes out after David. David prepares himself for the coming battle. His three generals receive exhortations concerning how best to deal with Absalom (18:5) when he is met in battle. The battle rages, much blood is “spilt,” and Absalom is wounded (and caught up) in the trees (18:9). Joab (one of David’s generals) rejects the king’s exhortation and kills Absalom (18:9-15). David receives a great victory over his enemies, but his son is heavy on his heart. When he learns of his son’s death, the great victory is muted for him and even for the nation.
Application: When David was confronted by Nathan with the Lord’s words to him concerning his house, what kind of evolution of thinking did David experience? I do not know, but I wonder if when he was confronted with his sinful actions David wanted to extend mercy to his son just like the Lord extended mercy to him. Though David had mercy shown to him he had to experience the consequences of his actions. What did he think when it came to dealing properly with his son? In any case, what we have is a father who looked upon his son with much yearning even though his son had his father’s good not in sight at all! What makes a person so willing to receive wrong done when there is much right to be pursued? The change in one’s thinking along this line, at best, is complicated. A challenge to us when we think about the Lord’s response to us.