2 Samuel 18:1–33
A great deal of leadership is based on consistency. King David is a prime example: He struggled most when he was inconsistent.
David’s son, Absalom, committed horrific acts against David and others (2 Sam 14–17). David repeatedly responded in a manner [unfitting] a king, finally sending men out to destroy Absalom’s troops (2 Sam 18:1–4). As the troops headed out, he ordered his commanders—within hearing of the army—to “deal gently” with Absalom (2 Sam 18:5). With this order, David again acted beneath his role and duty as king: He asked for the leader of a rebellion to be spared—essentially using his own warriors as pawns in a game to regain his fallen son. Absalom didn’t deserve to be dealt with gently; he was a ruthless, terrorizing dictator and had opposed God’s chosen king. His time was up. For this reason, and perhaps others, Joab, one of David’s commanders, chose to kill Absalom (2 Sam 18:14).
It’s unlikely any of us will e…