King David sends his troops to fight Absalom. At this point, he has already reorganized and recovered his strength. However, he forbids his men from killing his son. David wants to act compassionately. He still loves Absalom, even though the latter has betrayed him and killed Amnon, another of David’s sons. Absalom’s hair gets tangled up in a tree. The hallmark of his vanity, Absalom’s hair becomes the cause of his own death. Joab, commander of David’s armies, gives orders to kill him. When Joab’s soldiers refuse to violate the king’s instructions, Joab does it himself. Ahimaaz doesn’t have the heart to tell David the terrible news. Finally, a Cushite informs David about his son’s death. David is devastated.
“And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom. So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim” (2 Samuel 18:5-6)
“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak” (2 Samuel 18:9-10)
Moderation is using humility to make behavioral choices.