The handsome, vain, and wicked prince, Absalom, followed Hushai’s advice and led his army into slaughter in the woods of Ephraim. Certainly he was unprepared to wage war, but “Pride comes before destruction,
and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18). This wise saying was written later, by David’s son, his next heir to the throne, Solomon.
- Absalom caught his head and long hair (2 Samuel 14:25–26) in a branch and could not get down.
- Joab disobeyed David’s command (2 Samuel 18:5) and killed Absalom.
- Then Joab sent the news to the king who, when he heard it, wept bitterly.
- David, a man “after God’s own heart” and found “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekiel 33:11)
- David’s extreme grief, however, almost cost him the kingdom.
Men cannot punish pride, but either admire it or fear it, and therefore God will take the punishing of it into his own hands. Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, were instances of this. Let God alone to deal with the proud. The proud are frequently most proud, and insolent, and haughty, just before their destruction.
Therefore we do not need to fear the pride of others, but greatly fear pride in ourselves.