1 Chronicles Chapter 19

David had been successful in subduing his enemies and bringing peace to his reign in Israel. He was a strong force in battle and the Lord was on his side. Among those nations, was the nation of the children of Ammon. When Saul had been king, fighting occurred between Israel and the Ammonites, and Saul had defeated them. Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, then had peace with Israel. This is the state of the matter, when David took over as king of Israel. The chapter begins:

1 Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead.
2 And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.
3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?
4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.
5 Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

When Nahash died, his son Hanun became king of the children of Ammon. David determined to maintain peace with their nation, as he felt kindness had been shown to him by Nahash. David sent messengers to Hanun to comfort him while mourning the death of his father. The princes of Hanun convinced him that David was deceiving him and was actually sending spies to see how they could overthrow his kingdom. Rather then accepting the messengers of David with gratitude, Hanun abused them, shaved and shamed them, and sent them away. Others went and told David what had happened to his messengers, and David sent for them. They were ashamed of what had happened. As an Israelite, having beards was important to their faith. David told them to stay in Jericho until their hair had grown back, and then return to him.

6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah.
7 So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots, and the king of Maachah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.
8 And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.
9 And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array before the gate of the city: and the kings that were come were by themselves in the field.
10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose out of all the choice of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.
11 And the rest of the people he delivered unto the hand of Abishai his brother, and they set themselves in array against the children of Ammon.
12 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 help thee.
13 Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.
14 So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh before the Syrians unto the battle; and they fled before him.
15 And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

Knowing they were now repulsive to David, Hanun began to prepared for war against them near Medeba, hiring 32,000 chariots and horsemen, and gathering with king of the Syrian kingdom of Maachah, and his men. David sent Joab and the army of Israel’s mighty men to fight. The greatest were placed in fighting positions against the Syrians, while the rest of the men were placed under the charge of Abishai against the Ammonites. Joab made plans that if either was finding their enemies to be to strong, they were to be helped by the other. When Joab and his men were ready to fight, the Syrians fled. When the Ammonites saw them run away, they also fled from Abishai. Joab returned to Jerusalem.

16 And when the Syrians saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians that were beyond the river: and Shophach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.
17 And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon 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.
18 But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.
19 And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.

The Syrians saw their failures, they sent messengers to gather their armies with the armies of Hadarezer under captain Shophach. David was informed, so he gathered his armies and went against them. They fought, some of the Syrians fled, but David and the host of Israel killed 7,000 Syrains with chariots, 40,000 of the footment, as well as Shophach. The people of Hadarezer gave in to defeat and made peace with David. The men of Hadarezer became the servants of Israel and decided they were no longer going to fight along with the Ammonites.

The Israelites were truly blessed to have the Lord on their side when they were led by the faithful. David and his armies were able to bring peace to Israel with the strength of the Lord. A lesson from this is that our enemies can be stirred up against us at any time, even when we feel that we have peace in our lives. This happens especially when Satan tempts men with pride and power, as he did with Hanun and his princes. Our trust in God and His plan, expressed by our willingness to keep the commandments, will keep us worthy of his help with any adversity in our lives.

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