2 Samuel Chapter 10

David ruled in Judah and Israel for forty years. With the strength of the Lord, he was able to keep the people of Israel safe and living in relative peace. He had this strength, because he remained faithful to God. This chapter continues a description of his reign.

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.

David wanted to show kindness to Hanun, the new king of the Ammonites, because his father, Nahash, had shown kindness to David. He sent some of his servants, to comfort Hanun, but the princes of the Ammonites said that David sent the men in to spy on them. Hanun believed the words of the princes and took the servants and abused them. Then they sent David’s servants away, ashamed. Word reached David, he asked for the servants to meet him after their beards had grown back.

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.

The Ammonites hired the Syrians and prepared for battle against David and the Israelites. Joab led men against the Syrians, and Abishai led men against the Ammonites. Joab was prepared to fight for the Lord and his people, so he rallied the Israelites to courage. The Syrians fled from before Joab and his men. When the Ammonites saw that they fled, they also ran away. Joab returned 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.

The Syrians decided to gather together again. David learned of it and he went up against the men of Syria. The Syrians fled, and David and his men defeated them. The kings made peace with Israel and chose to serve them. The Syrians were afraid to give the Ammonites any help after that point.

The promises of God to Israel, had been that they would be a strong nation. As David led his people with faith and trust in the Lord, they had defeated many nations and gained the strength they were promised. Men are much stronger with the Lord on their side, than they are without. This is true in the battles to defend nations, as well as in the much smaller battles of life. When we face trials, temptations, and enemies of all kinds in our own lives, we can find the strength we need if the Lord is on our side. The Lord promises to be with those who choose to follow and love Him. We do this, by striving to keep the commandments, making and keeping covenants with Him, and doing our best to be good people in this fallen world.

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