II Samuel 10

False men are ready to think all others as false as themselves.
There is nothing so well meant but that it may be misinterpreted,
and is likely to be so by men who love nobody but themselves.
“Charity thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

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.

2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And 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.

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?

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.

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 until your beards be grown, and then return.

6 ¶ And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.

7 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

13 And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him.

14 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.

15 ¶ And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together.

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.

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.

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.

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.

2 Samuel 10:1-19 – The Penalty of Rejecting Kindness

   A Jewish tradition tells us that Nahash, Hanun’s father, had shown kindness to David by sheltering one of his brothers, when the king of Moab treacherously massacred the rest of the family. Civility is the daughter of Piety. The son had inherited his father’s throne but not his spirit. He was misled by foolish advisers to offer a gross insult, not only to the ambassadors, but to the king and nation whom they represented. 
   Let us, however, contrast our Lord’s dealings with those who ill-treated Him in the person of His disciples. When they had been refused by a certain village of the Samaritans, they appealed for fire from heaven; but Jesus reminded them that the dispensation in which Elijah had lived was past. The disciples were the children of a new age, and the only fire with which they could deal was that of love, Luke 9:54, etc. Yes, and afterward the baptism of the Holy Spirit was given to Samaria, perhaps to those very villages, Acts 8. It used to be said that the best way to secure the tenderest kindness of the great and saintly Archbishop Leighton was to show him a discourtesy. He had not followed his great Master in vain.

2 Samuel 10:12—The LORD do that which seemeth Him good.

   Israel was arrayed against overwhelming odds. To human sight it must have appeared very improbable that Joab would be able to hold his own. However, he made the best arrangements he could; exhorted his men to be of good courage and do their utmost; and then piously left the issue to the God of battles.
   There are times in all lives when the case seems desperate. How can we meet with ten thousand him who cometh against us with twenty thousand! Heart and flesh fail. What resource is there, save in the flight of the lonely man to the only God? It is for God to act, since the help of man is vain.
   In your personal straits: When patience is exhausted; when the last handful is taken from the barrel; when complicated trials meet and hem you in; when the iron gate and the keepers before the door appear to render escape impossible then look up, God is marching with reinforcements to your aid.
   In your work and war for God in the world: We too often act and speak as if success were to be won by the forces that we may be able to bring into the field, whereas God asks us for nothing more than fidelity and the right disposition of such forces as we can command; He will do all the rest.
   In your outlook on the conflict between good and evil: It is quite true that thee appears to be an infinite disparity between the one and the other. But there are other forces in the field than appear. There is another host of which God Himself is captain. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up the standard. “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help” (Deuteronomy 33:26).