2 Sam 10, 1 Chron 19, Ps 20
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Don’t you feel a little bit like a jumping bean…. 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, and Psalms…ALL in one day!! <<<<smile>>>> Since we have been in Psalms quite a bit I want to recap some of the people especially for anyone just reading for today.
WHO the heck is fighting? We begin with Hanun, king of the Ammonites. The Ammonites are descendants of Ammon. Ammon and Moab were the two sons that came from Lot’s incest with his daughters (the angels had to PULL Lot OUT of the destruction that was coming on their heels for Sodom and Gomorrah, fleeing the destruction, Lot’s wife looked back after she was told NOT to and turned to salt, then Lot and his daughters were living in a cave…his daughters saw NO way to have husbands or children so they plotted to get their father drunk on separate nights and each conceived sons….I KNOW…ICK!!) In case you would like to read the entire story for yourself just go to Genesis 19:36-38. Now in our current times WE think we see such “new” ways that people are mean to each other. However, Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “there is NOTHING new under the sun!!” Our weapons are stronger and more powerful, our clothing and jewelry may look a little different, but man’s propensity for sin, man’s desire to know God (or a god), and the basic things of life….are no different. I mean I can think of a few movies, news headlines, and TV shows that could have come STRAIGHT out of the Bible!!
So, both the Ammonites and Moabites were pagans and were determined to live their wicked ways. For YEARS Lot and his entire family came under the protection God had placed on Abraham, but there came a time when God no longer could tolerate their wickedness. A couple of days ago we saw where David and his men destroyed the Moabites. Today we read about the destruction of the Ammonites. The Moabites and the Ammonites were two very strong nations. They were brothers and I am sure fed off of each other. However, under David’s leadership and the guidance of God, David conquered both nations.
In our reading today, the ENTIRE war began ALL because of an ASSUMPTION and we all know what happens when we ASSUME!! David sent his ambassadors to show sympathy to king Hanun for the death of his father. David did this because Hanun’s father had been so kind to him and he wanted to show honor and respect in his death. However, Hanun listened to his advisors …. ummmmm… WRONG advice!! As king, Hanun COULD have been diplomatic with David and asked why he sent his men ….but NOOOOOOO!!! In 1 Chronicles 20 (I read a little ahead because I thought we were supposed to read 1 Chronicles 19 & 20….then discovered it was 1 Chronicles 19 and PSALMS 20…lol) we will see that king Hanun will pay a HUGE price for his ASSUMPTION. Lots of lessons in this one section but if ONLY Hanun could have known about James 1:19 — “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” OK…so he had no way of knowing this ….but WE DO, right?
So WHY did the Ammonites shave half the beard of each man and remove their clothing??? According to 2 Samuel 10:4 — they “shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments in the middle of their buttocks, and sent them away.” So the Israelites were half shaven and either half clothed or totally naked, the result was not just an insult and humiliation to the men but also to ALL of Israel!!! I love the way David honored his men and had great compassion for them by instructing them to go to Jericho to heal and allow their beards to grow back.
Shaving an Israelites beard was HUGE to them!!! First, it was part of the law but it was also a sign of maturity and part of their culture. (For deeply rooted Jews today their beards are not to be shaved.) Exposing their buttocks, or more of their bodies, and sending them on their way, how humiliating!!! BAD BAD BAD Hanun!!!
JOAB — we have read about him in previous chapters. But let’s take a closer look at who this man was. Joab was David’s nephew, David’s sister’s, Zeruiah, son. His name in Hebrew is “Yoab” which means “The Lord (Jehovah) is Father.” Thus far we have seen Joab as VERY loyal and trusting towards David and most importantly to the LORD. This makes Joab and David a very strong team. He is David’s General/Commander in Chief so was very skilled in military strategy and success. Dave and Joab prepare for battle by saying: “Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight.”
As David’s General/Commander in Chief, he was the military man behind Israel’s most successful warrior king, David. Joab was very cunning, courageous, ruthless, over zealous, and was driven by revenge. He had two brothers, Abishai and Asahel. We are still reading about the strength and battle skills of Abishai as one of David’s high ranking military officers. However, Asahel was killed in self defense by Abner (2 Samuel 2:21-23.) You may recall that Joab murdered Abner (the general of king Saul’s successor who sincerely wanted to switch sides and join David’s.) Joab wanted revenge on Abner for killing his brother Asahel (although it was in self defense) AND Joab had some fear of losing his “power” as David’s Commander in Chief. Could Joab’s zealousness AND his desire for power come back to bit him the his buttocks??? Stay tuned to find out!! (Ummmmmmm…sounds like there is a “buttocks theme going on today <<<smile>>>.)
Having good mentors, prayer warriors, accountability partners, etc, in our lives who we can trust and confide in, make plans with, share thoughts with, and depend on for correction, encouragement, and exhortation is vital in our daily survival and Christian growth. However, we must always remember that as much as we love, admire, and cherish the words of wisdom from these people in our lives they are no substitute for God in our lives. Look at what scripture says about having good friends:
“If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecc 4:10-12)
As you are reading 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles together you will notice that some of the people interactions are missing in Chronicle (such as Mephibosheth from yesterday, and Bathsheba and Absalom in future Chronicle reading.) it is important to remember the reason Chronicles was written. It was written to FOCUS on God’s long term relationship with Israel and on the temple as a symbol of God’s presence among them.
Psalm 20 — was written by David as a prayer for victory in battle. I love this prayer and use it when I am facing great challenges. It is a great WORD to help us maintain our focus on God in the midst of any trials.
Look at verse 7 again: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Merriam Webster dictionary defines TRUST as: “a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; b: one in which confidence is placed…” The Blue Letter Bible TRUST defines it as the Hebrew word “chacah” which means: “to seek refuge, flee (to what is trusted) for protection, to confide or hope in God.”
I have to tell you, I know VERY LITTLE about chariots and horses and they do very little for me when I think about trusting in them. So I try to think of things that I (or maybe you) may put trust in wrongly such as: news reports, doctors’ reports, court outcomes, challenging personal or national finances, gossip, opinion’s of others, negative thoughts, stinking thinking, career endings, wars, terrorists, spending, drugs, alcohol, people in power, people with power, or other things or people, etc…. BUT I TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD MY GOD AND IN HIS LOVING, LIVING WORD WHICH HAS FOREVER CHANGED MY HEART AND LIFE. —I KNOW God wants each of us to KNOW HIM personally and speak with HIM personally — before, during, and after our challenges/battles!!
As Psalm 20:4 says: “May HE give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
Sharing HIS love,