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David should never be counted out. Hours before, Absalom has everything going his way, and David is run out of his kingdom. Smart and fierce, he doesn’t spend all those years hiding from Saul and fighting with little or no resources for nothing. Although he orders his generals to be merciful to his son Absalom, his forces win a great victory against the rebel forces, and David’s general Joab kills Absalom and removes a threat to the security of the kingdom.

But David’s reaction again is tender; although his son might have killed him if he’d been given the chance, David laments his death. As king, as father, and as follower of the Lord, he knows he could have done better; but now it is too late, and all he can do is mourn the consequences of his past actions.

19 Joab heard the news that David was weeping and mourning for Absalom, and the mood shifted from celebration to sorrow, for all the soldiers heard that the king was grieving for his son. They crept back to the city as though they had lost the battle rather than saved the kingdom.

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