Kindness misinterpreted. That’s how this next battle starts for David. David’s a good guy, a man after God’s own heart. He hears of the death of the King of Ammon and sends ambassadors to share his condolences. Now, that’s something that’s done today. A head of state dies, there is a state funeral, and many dignitaries from all over the world come to pay their respects. However, the new king, the son of the deceased one, takes it the wrong way. And that’s his big mistake. Let’s dig in….
But first, let’s do what David did and read a psalm that he would have prayed before battle….
1 In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
2 May he send you help from his sanctuary
and strengthen you from Jerusalem (Zion).
3 May he remember all your gifts
and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude
4 May he grant your heart’s desires
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.
6 Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king.
He will answer him from his holy heaven
and rescue him by his great power.
7 Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.
8 Those nations will fall down and collapse,
but we will rise up and stand firm.
9 Give victory to our king, O Lord!Psalm 20 NLT
Answer our cry for help.
Points to Ponder
- This is a song or prayer of preparation for battle. Afterwards, there’s a song of celebration and praise for victory.
- The point here is to not go in to any battle without God on your side. Like verse 7 says, “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.“
- In those days, an army that had chariots and horses was considered more powerful than an army of just swordsmen and archers. It’s like today’s armies that try to have the latest technology. What’s more, when they do acquire it, it changes the potential outcomes of the battles.
- David, nevertheless, had a secret weapon — God — trust in God.
- He presented his war strategy to God because he knew that he couldn’t succeed with out Him.
2 Samuel 10 – Battle with the Ammonites
Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.
But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.
5 When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.
6 When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. 7 When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. 8 The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah positioned themselves to fight in the open fields.
9 When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. 10 He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 11 “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you. 12 Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.”
13 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 14 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. After the battle was over, Joab returned to Jerusalem.
15 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel. So when they regrouped, 16 they were joined by additional Aramean troops summoned by Hadadezer from the other side of the Euphrates River. These troops arrived at Helam under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.
17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and led the army to Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle formation and fought against David. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites.
Points to Ponder
- King David had all good intentions when he sent ambassadors to the new King, Hanun. Unfortunately, bad advisors lied to the king and said that these were really David’s spies.
- They humiliated, insulted and disgraced David’s ambassadors, which was a declaration of war.
- Then they go hire some mercenaries — 33,000 of them. They would be equal to today’s terrorists “proxies”, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban and al-Qaeda (the ones responsible for the 9/11 attacks, bombing Israel, etc.).
- Again, King David’s secret weapon was God. Unfortunately, America has lost its connection to God.
Psalm 21 – Victory Belongs to the Lord
1 How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
He shouts with joy because you give him victory.
2 For you have given him his heart’s desire;
you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude
3 You welcomed him back with success and prosperity.
You placed a crown of finest gold on his head.
4 He asked you to preserve his life,
and you granted his request.
The days of his life stretch on forever.
5 Your victory brings him great honor,
and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.
6 You have endowed him with eternal blessings
and given him the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord.
The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.
8 You will capture all your enemies.Psalm 21 NLT
Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you.
9 You will throw them in a flaming furnace
when you appear.
The Lord will consume them in his anger;
fire will devour them.
10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth;
they will never have descendants.
11 Although they plot against you,
their evil schemes will never succeed.
12 For they will turn and run
when they see your arrows aimed at them.
13 Rise up, O Lord, in all your power.
With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.
1 Praise the Lord, who is my rock.
He trains my hands for war
and gives my fingers skill for battle.
2 He is my loving ally and my fortress,
my tower of safety, my rescuer.
He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.
He makes the nations submit to me.
3 O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,
mere mortals that you should think about them?
4 For they are like a breath of air;
their days are like a passing shadow.
5 Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.
Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.
6 Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!
Shoot your arrows and confuse them!
7 Reach down from heaven and rescue me;
rescue me from deep waters,
from the power of my enemies.
8 Their mouths are full of lies;
they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God!
I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.
10 For you grant victory to kings!
You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.
11 Save me!
Rescue me from the power of my enemies.
Their mouths are full of lies;
they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.
12 May our sons flourish in their youthPsalm 144 NLT
like well-nurtured plants.
May our daughters be like graceful pillars,
carved to beautify a palace.
13 May our barns be filled
with crops of every kind.
May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands,
even tens of thousands,
14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce.
May there be no enemy breaking through our walls,
no going into captivity,
no cries of alarm in our town squares.
15 Yes, joyful are those who live like this!
Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.
We must train for spiritual battles! No matter what battles you are fighting in your life, God is bigger!
Paul told us…
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT
God is bigger than any terrorist army! What’s happening right now in Afghanistan is the most horrendous debacle that an American president can make. Consequently, the ripple effect of one country’s mistake, affects the lives of thousands, if not millions of people. Two posts ago, I embedded a video on how Afghanistan plays a part in the end times scenario.
That’s militarily. What about Christian persecution in Afghanistan?
Here is a recent podcast of an interview with a Christian missionary with stories about the Afghani Christians who are being hunted down and killed. Some only because they have a Bible app on their phones.
About 3/4 of the way in, Pastor X tells of how we can pray for them. These are the passages he mentions…
Pray God’s Words right back to Him!
Be Strong in the Lord!
The King of My Heart
Is Jesus the King of YOUR Heart?
Well, isn’t about time He was?