January 20, 2017
Joab told his brother, "And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will help you. Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the LORD's will be done. 1 Chronicles 19:13
LET IT GLOW
Here's another mess for Israel-the insulting of David's ambassadors by the Ammonites, Israel's victory over them by Joab's leadership, and Israel's battle against the Syrians, as in 2 Samuel 10. These two accounts are almost identical except for the number of chariots that the Ammonites had hire.
- King Nahash of the Ammonites died and his son Hanun became king. David sent messengers to express sympathy to Hanun about his father's death, since Nahash had been loyal to David.
- The Ammonites, during King Saul's reign, had besieged Israel's town of Jabesh-gilead to the east. Nahash refused to accept surrender of the city except under a gory condition-thrusting out their right eyes. Saul's army came to the rescue before it and defeated the Ammonites. (That is some background of the relations between the two nations.)
- Hanun's men persuaded him that David's men only came to spy out their land so Israel could conquer it. (They lied.) So Hunan seized David's ambassadors and shaved them, and sent them home, humiliated. (Israelite men always wore beards.)
- That was not bad enough, the Ammonites cut off half of the delegate's robes, exposing their back sides. David told his men to say in Jericho until their beards grew out and then return home. (They felt deep shame for their appearance.)
- Instead of making amends when he realized his mistake angered David, Hanun hired 32,000 chariots of other armies to join his forces against Israel.
- David sent Joab's army, who fought against the Arameans, and included his brother Abishai leading part of the army to fight against the Ammonites. Read our key verse.
- As the Israeli army advanced, both enemy forces fled way. When Joab led his men home, the Arameans decided to attack David's forces, though they had previously been defeated before this. Both the Ammonites and Aramean troops joined forces across the Euphrates River.
Hunan had misread David's intentions. Being overly suspicious, he brought disaster upon his people and himself. Although it is wise to be cautious and wise as we deal with others, we should no assume every action is ill-intended.
LET IT GROW
How did this mess end?
David took charge of his Israeli army and defeated the combined Aramean army, who is called Syrians in the King James Bible.
David's forces killed 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 footmen. Hadadezer's allies saw they were defeated by Israel and surrendered to David to become his subjects. After that, the Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.
Hanun's cover-up dearly cost him. It often costs more to cover up an error than to admit it honestly.
Folks, this is a lesson I am learning. I realize that I owe an apology to a lady. The soon, the better. I have put it off four months. The time is now.
LET IT GO
Admit when I am wrong.
Apologize when needful to mend relationships.
Encourage others when they are in need, helping them do the Lord Jesus' will.