19 June 20202 Samuel 10:1-12.
When you show kindness to someone and they hate you for it.
David wanted to show kindness to the son of a neighbouring Ammonite king, called Hanun. The Ammonite kingdom was located where the nation of Jordan is today, to the east of Israel. Ammon lived in intermittent war with Israel. They were, like the people of Israel, descended from Noah through Shem. However they were also fierce enemies. Nevertheless, after Hanun’s father died, David sent some messengers there in order to send his condolences. David was willing and able to get past the easy racism and enmity between the two nations.
Have you ever been friendly to someone, and tried to bring comfort and kindness into their lives? However they do not appreciate it, instead they are suspicious and reject you? Have you ever been falsely accused? Have you ever tried to do the right thing by someone, but they attack you in return? This was David and his messengers’ situation. Verses 4 & 5 tells us that the messengers were attacked and forcibly shaved against their will. They were violated and humiliated. This violence was completely unjustified and without provocation.
Unfortunately for David and his messengers, Hanun and his commanders had a “loser mentality.” They had a mind-set of suspicion and rejection. David meant to show him sympathy and respect. However, Hanun could not or would not see David’s intentions for what they were. Of course, Hanun’s actions were not just personal; they also showed disrespect from one king of state to another.
Sometimes in life we go through unpleasant and unexpected suffering that is not our fault. The situation did not look good for David. In addition to the Ammonite army, verse 6 states that the Ammonites recruited 33000 additional soldiers to attack David’s men. They were in a tough situation. Not only did they face the unprovoked and nasty attack from the Ammonites, but now the armies of several nations were against them.
As Christians we have the promise of God in Romans 8:28-31: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
These verses were written a thousand years after David but they apply to him in this situation, just as they apply to us. As Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20,
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”
God had predestined David. He had called him, justified him and was about to glorify him. Despite David’s army being heavily outnumbered, God enabled Israel and David to win a famous victory against the Ammonites. It is a powerful and beautiful occasion when God vindicates the one He loves!
Through this shameful action of King Hanun, God lifted up David as the most powerful warrior king in the region. In our time King David is considered the greatest King of Israel. He is world famous. He is regarded as one of the greatest leaders to ever lead a country. It cannot have been easy for David or his men in this situation. They had to put their lives on the line before they won this victory. It would have been stressful, hard work. They had to keep calm. They would have had to persevere in their faith in God.
What difficulties and battles are we called to face? God places these type of scripture passages in His Word so we can be encouraged in our daily struggles. We will likely go through many difficult times in our walk with God. However, when we persevere in faith and obedience, God will justify the righteous and win the victory! He tells us in Hebrews 10:38:
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” Take courage in and persevere. Do not give up. For He says to us in Hebrews 13:5;
“Never will i leave you;Never will i forsake you, So we say with confidence,
Suggested prayer:May faith, perseverance and obedience rise up in my heart and in my life as i face each day O Lord. May I keep my eyes on You, even when I suffer and have to put myself on the line. May I keep the faith and persevere through to the victory. I thank You that You are always with me and that you are my helper. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.