King David sends a delegation to comfort Hanun, the king of Ammon, over the death of his father. However, the emissaries’ heartwarming words are repaid poorly. The Ammonites suspect their true motivation, believing that the delegation was sent to spy on their land. They therefore humiliate them. David’s kindness is repaid with disgrace. An inevitable conflict breaks out between Israel, Ammon, and Aram. David does not want to spill innocent blood. He extends his hand in peace. However, whenever he is attacked, he retaliates with all his might until the enemy is decimated.
“Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon” (2 Samuel 10:2)
“And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rathersent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” (2 Samuel 10:3)
Proportionality is finding the appropriate response to any situation or challenge; neither too little nor too much.