What are you good at? What are your strengths? Beware! – too much strength will kill you and your greatest asset can also be your greatest weakness.
In 2 Samuel this is definitely the case.
David was beloved of everyone. Everybody loved David; Jonathan, Michal, all Israel! But too much love will kill you, and it was loving (Bathsheba) that led to his greatest sin!
Absalom’s glory was his hair. When he cut it he used to weigh it and it was weighty (kabod, Hebrew for weighty is the same word as we translate glory). He died by getting it stuck in a tree. Too much hair will kill you!
Asahel’s great gift was his speed. But when Abner tried to bump him out of the way with the butt of spear, Asahel was running so fast that he impaled himself on the spear instead! Too much speed will kill you!
Pakistani poet Iqbal wrote these lines:
In Rome an old monk said to me:
‘I have a piece of wisdom, and I give it to you:
Every nation causes its own downfall –
You were destroyed by fate, we by our strategy.’
The monk told him that the strength of the West – strategy – leads to its downfall (power, presumption, pride) and the strength of the East – submission to God – leads to its downfall (fatalism, and passivity). Too much strategy will kill you, but so will too much fatalism!
O Asahel, run fast, but not too fast!
O Absalom, enjoy your hair, but don’t glory in it!
O David, love well, but not illicitly!
Be strong, but not too strong, for too much strength will kill you.