September 19, 2023
“It happened after this that Nahash the king of the people of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his place. Then David said, 'I will show kindness to Hanun...'”
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“It happened after this that Nahash the king of the people of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his place. Then David said, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.’ So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to Hanun in the land of the people of Ammon to comfort him. And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun, ‘Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Did his servants not come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?’ Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved them, and cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away. Then some went and told David about the men; and he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, ‘Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.’ When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the people of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Syrian Maacah, and from Zobah.” 1 Chronicles 19:1-6 (NKJV)
In the midst of a rapid-fire retelling of David’s various conquests, the author of 1 Chronicles slows down to focus on an incident of disrespect and public humiliation. David’s ambassadors have been stripped naked, their beards & heads shaved. This disrespect is in stark contrast to chapter 8, where Tou, king of Hamath, chooses to stand alongside David when he learns how David had conquered Hamath’s mortal enemy. It reminds us of how we must choose to embrace Jesus or fight against Him after we learn He has conquered our enemies, death & Satan. Yesterday, a king blessed Israel, and he was blessed; today, a king curses Israel, and he is destroyed.
“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3 (NKJV)
Perhaps we should consider what God considers to be an act of war.
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4 (NKJV)
It is true that God did not send Messiah Jesus into the world to condemn people on the occasion of His first coming. (John 3:16-18) And God wants none to perish, but for all to come unto repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) But that does not mean there is not a reckoning forthcoming. Jesus’ second coming will not be a heartfelt counseling session. He will enact vengeance as David rode out to avenge his ambassadors.
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31 (NKJV) (Matthew 7:21-23)