II Samuel Chapter 10
Kindness to Hanun [1-5]"
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
David had been king over all of Israel for quite some time now. The spoils of the many battles prior to this time had brought David and his kingdom much wealth and position amongst the neighboring nations. David is now on easy street, and this should be a word of caution to us, that when things seem to easy and going our way, look out, for trouble can be headed our way. When you are at the top it's time to be careful, for that is when a person becomes most careless, and takes things for granted. It is then that you take your eyes off the One that made it all possible for you. It is also then that people will try to take advantage of you, just as it had happened to David in this chapter. When things are going well than be careful, and plan ahead and keep yourself disciplined and under control.
II Samuel 10:1 "And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead."
When the king of Ammon died, his son Hanun became the king.
II Samuel 10:2 "Then said David, "I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me." Then David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon."
Take notice of what happened here. Carnal men simply cannot understand the graciousness of a servant of God. When a man truly and sincerely loves the Lord and seeks to please the Father, the carnal man just doesn't understand the love that flows out of him for those around him. When a Christian, a man or woman of God wishes to comfort them spiritually, those on the receiving end come up with all sorts of doubts and reasons to for distrust. They simply think that to show love is a sign of weakness. In their mind they think you are a push-over.
However, to a man or woman of God it is just the opposite. To show love for our Father is power, for love is the most powerful thing in the world. So don't ever be ashamed of our love for God and His children, for it shows power from our Father. Again these people of Ammon are going to misread the love and compassion that David was trying to show Hanun, the son of his friend, the king of Ammon.
II Samuel 10:3 "And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, "Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee: hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?"
David was sending his God fearing men to give comfort to this young man that has just lost his father, for he was about to take over the responsibility of king of his people. And all the while the advisers and nobles of Ammon are doubting David's kindness as a sign of his weakness. They look on these men of comfort, bringing the salutations of David as nothing more than the act of spies. Coming to spy out their weakness, in an effort to overthrow the city and Hanun. These nobles just don't understand the things of God, and it just doesn't add up in their minds. They just don't understand why anyone would travel so far just to do good.
II Samuel 10:4 "Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away."
To shave off a person's beard was an insult to the person, and to shave off one half of the beard was to show him only half a man. To cut their garments off in the middle and show off their private parts is the height of mockery of a person. There was very little that Hanun could have done to insult these men of David any more than what they did. Hanun was trying to insult David through the treatment that he was giving these servants of David.
II Samuel 10:5 "When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, "Tarry at Jericho unto your beards be grown, and then return."
When David heard of the treatment that these men had received from Hanun, David went out personally to meet them, and had them wait at Jericho until their beards of respectability had grown out again. David was compassionate to these servants for the trouble that they went through. David allowed them to regain their dignity and respect before he allowed them to be put back into service.
II Samuel 10:6 "And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men."
"That they stank" is an idiom in the Hebrew, it meant that even the name of Ammon was insult to David and caused a stink in David's nostrils. They sensed that David was not going to sit back and allow their actions to go by without punishment. Hanun knew that war was going to happen, and he sent out to friendly nations to get outside help. Hanun was hiring mercenaries to come and fight with Ammon, to pay men to come and stand on the battlefield to appear that they are a strong fighting force ready for battle, when they are nothing but a bunch of hirelings, punching their time clocks to get a wage.
This happens many times in churches, where you have a hireling behind the pulpit. He stands behind the pulpit, saying the words that the men at the top hire him to say, and the purpose is to give an appearance of something that they are not. You think you have an army girded for spiritual battle, with their spiritual armor on and in place. However, what you have is a bunch of hireling that flip-flop in ignorance, and are just out to give a big show of force. The forces are there in body only, but their minds are off doing something else. The servant is worthy of his hire, but there was no dedication to this mission at hand.
The mercenary or anyone that is doing their job just for the money is worthless when the battle begins. When things get tough, they are out of here. When the battle gets tough, they evaluate the cost, and see it isn't worth dying for. Hanun's paycheck that they will not be around to enjoy, when their hides are rotting on the battle field. This is the type of army that Hanun has put together to fight David and the Israelites. All of these people though are Syrian people, a very proud people, and they are hiring kin to go out and fight their battle for them. Notice that these men did not come with their nations backing them, but as hired individuals taking a job for a paycheck.
II Samuel 10:7 "And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men."
Remember from the prior chapter that Joab was David top general. He is the one to sound the battle cry and get the army of Israel ready to do battle.
II Samuel 10:8 "And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ish-tob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field."
These warriors came out to do battle, but the men of Ammon stayed right near the gates of the city. They made sure that they could run for the city gate if the battle got to rough. That is why they hired the thirty two thousand warriors, to go out and get killed on the the Ammonite's behalf. The hirelings were out there to do the heavy work, so that when the going got tough, the men of Ammon could shut the city gate, and leave the hirelings to shift for themselves.
II Samuel 10:9 "When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:"
Joab saw what was happening, for the men of Syria were out there in the field alone and the cowards of Ammon were at the gate ready to take cover. This is why Joab took the best fighters to go up against the mercenaries, and the rest of the troops to chase them Ammonites back into their holes. Joab wanted the most disciplined troops by his side, and the other could handle the Ammonites without much trouble. Joab's strategy was very sound militarily speaking. Joab and his men were well disciplined, and could use their head and think for themselves.
II Samuel 10:10 "And the rest of the People he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon."
Both Joab and Abishai are the sons of David's sister, and each of these men took half of the forces, and put them in a way to where both fronts were covered.
II Samuel 10:11 "And he said, "If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee."
Again this is good strategy, for they would only come to the aid of the other, if it was needed.
II Samuel 10:12 "Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth Him good."
However through all the planning and effort that went into this war effort, Joab did not forget where the true strength comes from. He knew that his real strength was from our heavenly Father, and he turned the battle over to Him for the victory. "Let us play the men", in the Hebrew text is; "Be strong and let us put forth our strength." In putting it another way, "give it all that you have." Joab knew he had the victory, and if he lost it would be only because God willed it.
When we face the many battles of life that we face, and turn those matters over to God, He will kick those big rocks and things that we can't handle out of the way before we get to them. However, at the same time, many people make the mistake of trying to do it all, and he will not do that. Remember after Joab committed the battle to the Lord, He told his men to give it all that they had. God wants people who are willing to do their part, and even put it on the line at times. The point here is that we are to do the planning and thinking the best that we can, and try to make it happen, and God will do the rest.
What ever it is that you plan, make sure that you use good discipline, and prior planning in your daily life, even to the point that you become the best in what you do. Then God will help you in the matters that you have no control over. Remember God has given us a guide through His Word as to what His will is, and we must always stay within that set of instruction. It doesn't matter if you are a rocket scientist or a ditch digger, what you do, do well and unto the Lord. Plan your work and ask God's blessings on that work. God has told us throughout the New Testament, "you do these things for Me and then I will add it unto you." God knows what you need, for he can read your mind and see the future.
II Samuel 10:13 "And Joab drew nigh, and the People that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him."
When the army of Joab marched in their direction, the Syrians saw right away that they were no match for these disciplined troops of Joab. They all ran from the battle field, for no paycheck was worth their lives.
II Samuel 10:14 "And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians fled they also aefore Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem."
When the Ammonites saw their hirelings running and scattering from the battle, they knew that there only hope was behind the walls and gates of the city. The entire battle was finished without killing a single man on ether side. The Ammonites and their Syrian mercenaries proved themselves cowards on the battle field.
II Samuel 10:15 "And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together."
The Syrians are not like the Ammorites, for they are a proud people as a nation. These men of their nation had not represented themselves well on the battle field before David's forces.
II Samuel 10:16 "And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them."
II Samuel 10:17 "And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him."
Now as a nation these Assyrians were going to come up against David's forces to prove that those hirelings did not represent the true Syrian fighting forces. Here the top Syrian general Shobach led the host of all the Syrians to show David how strong they really were.
II Samuel 10:18 "And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there."
The Hebrew manuscripts do not have the Roman number system as we do, and to understand it in the English, in the Hebrew text the number is recorded as seven thousand, and this number is given in I Chronicles 19:18, as being seven thousand horsemen, with their chariots. The Syrian general was recorded there as Shophach, which is tranlated into the Hebrew tongue, the same person.
II Samuel 10:19 "And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more."
When the battle was all over, the Syrians found that there was peace in David and his kingdom. This is much like what will happen when Christ comes, and the souls of this world will find that there is true peace in Christ's kingdom. The one is a type of the other. The one is an "ensample" as to how things will be at another time.
After the battle, David offered salvation and peace to the Syrians, just as Christ has offered Salvation and peace with Almighty God to everyone that would believe and by faith, and repentance of their sins in Jesus name. There is no other name under heaven whereby you can be saved for Jesus Christ was the sacrifice for all sins. It is you that has to take the sacrifice that Jesus gave, and make the first move through repentance, or refuse it. The choice is yours.
Hadarezer fought at a great loss, and it wasn't until he realized that there was no other way, that he determined that it was his move to come to David for peace. That fear, or reverence for David brought Hadarezer to the peace table, and once you realize and understand that Christ has been at the peace table for the past two thousand years, waiting for all those that would come to Him, so that he could give them true peace. On the first day of the Millennium, there will be no choice, for on that day, every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Grace and salvation by Faith, through repentance is for this age of the flesh. You do have a choice to come in peace, or refuse the peace that God has offered through his Son, Jesus Christ.
In the end, even the Syrians were willing to serve David willingly, and in the Millennium age of Christ's kingdom, all will serve the Lord willingly for if they don't, they just will not exist after the day of Judgment, not even in the minds of their loved ones that are in the eternity. God will blot the sinner completely out of existence. So here again David has another time of peace, for the challenge to his authority has been put down.
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