31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33 And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
We never rejoice over the downfall of others. Absalom set himself against not only his father, but God Himself. His destruction was assured as a result. David grieved because his son had gone his own way. David was a real parent who was more than willing to take the punishment for his child, but he could not. Neither can (should) we. Everyone has to live with the consequences of our own choices. We don’t help our children when we spare them the blessing of being hurt by their mistakes. Let them fall early, and they won’t crash as hard later.