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CHAPTER 19 Oct. 4 
David’s Conflict with Ammon
It happened after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his place. 2David 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. David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him. 3But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Do you think that David honours your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Haven’t his servants come to you to search, to overthrow, and to spy out the land? 4So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved them, cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5Then there went certain persons and told David how the men were served. He sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return. 6When the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent one thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Arammaacah, and out of Zobah. 7So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, and the king of Maacah and his people, who came and encamped before Medeba. The children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle. 8When David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the army of the mighty men. 9The children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the gate of the city. The kings who had come were by themselves in the field. 10Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians. 11The rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother; and they put themselves in array against the children of Ammon. 12He said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you are to help me; but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13Be courageous, and let us be strong for our people, and for the cities of our God. May Yahweh do that which seems good to Him. 14So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians to the battle; and they fled before him. 15When the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem. 16When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians who were beyond the River, with Shophach the captain of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17It was told David; and he gathered all Israel together, passed over the Jordan and came on them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 18The Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed of the Syrians seven thousand charioteers, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the army. 19When the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David, and served him. From then on, the Syrians would not help the children of Ammon.


19:2 I will show kindness to Hanun… because his father showed kindness to me- Jesus in Lk. 6:32-34 may have this incident in mind when He taught that kindness to those who love us isn’t at all the radical love and grace which He taught. Loving those who love us doesn’t always work out well, as David’s experience here shows.
19:4 Earlier in his life, David had had a similar experience with Nabal; he sent messengers to him, who were abused. But David at that time over-reacted, and was only saved from destruction by the wisdom of Nabal’s wife Abigail (1 Sam. 25). There are times when God arranges for circumstances to repeat in our lives to test whether we have learnt a lesson, or to reinforce the lesson we learnt.

19:13 May Yahweh do that which seems good to Him- There is an element of predestination in our lives; but the fact that God will do His will shouldn’t lead us to complacency nor resignation to fatalism, but rather to zeal to do His will as far as we can perceive it, knowing that He will bless the doing of His will. In Joab’s case, understanding this led him to a zealous attempt to fight for the Lord, which God blessed with victory.