May 7, 2007
I Chronicles 18-21
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- Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines.
- And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.
- And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
- And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.
- And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
- Then David put garrisons in Syriadamascus; and the Syrians became David's servants, and brought gifts. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.
- And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
- Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.
- Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;
- He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.
- Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.
- Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand.
- And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David's servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.
- So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.
- And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder.
- And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;
- And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.
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- Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh before the Syrians unto the battle; and they fled before him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
- And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
- And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
- And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.
- And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam.
- And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.
- But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother slew him.
- These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
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- And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
- And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
- And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
- Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.
- And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
- But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
- And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
- And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
- And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,
- Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
- So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee
- Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
- And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
- So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
- And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
- And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
- And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.
- Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
- And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.
- And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
- And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
- Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
- And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.
- And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
- So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
- And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
- And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.
- At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.
- For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.
- But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
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Thought for the day:
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I Chronicles 19 contains a story that is very practical in its application and speaks directly towards our human nature. Nahash, the king of Ammon died, and David decided to send messengers to comfort his son Hanun in his hour of grief. He did this because Nahash had been kind to him. The Bible does not expressly speak of this event, but many presume that it occurred during the persecution of David by Saul (
I Samuel 11). Regardless of when or what it was, David believed that he had an obligation to be gracious to one that had been gracious to him. Again we see a character trait of David's: he remembered the blessings that others had been to him, and he attempted to reciprocate when the opportunity presented itself. We should not limit our kindnesses to those who are kind to us, but we certainly ought to help those who have helped us. Even the heathen can do that (
Matt. 5:47), so the believer really ought to be quick to repay a kindness. Don't take the kind words and deeds of others for granted, and remember them when others have needs. The principle of Scripture remains this:
" Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (
Hanun's advisors, however, feared David, and refused to accept his offer of condolences at face value. Their distrust led them to counsel the king that he should also be distrustful of David. Therefore, when David's servants arrived, rather than accept their message of compassion, Hanun humiliated them. The end result of this was that David lost his sympathy for the new king, and in fact the Bible states that the Ammonites as a whole became "odious" to David. This ultimately led to financial and military loss for the children of Ammon. In addition, they got the Syrians involved, and Syria lost 47,000 men in the conflict.
All this could have been avoided if Hanun had simply taken David's word at face value and ignored the advice of his councilors. Hanun certainly knew of the relationship that had existed between his father and David. He knew of David's character, and he knew that there was no reason for David not to be trusted. Yet rather than do what he must have known in his heart was right, he listened to people that did not possess the information that he did, and it cost him. The lesson here is this: don't let people who don't know what is going on talk you out of doing what you know is correct. How often has a young person been tempted to sin by a member of his peer group who claims to know what is happening, but really doesn't. The teenager in question knows what his parents have told him. If he is a Christian, he knows what the Bible says. Yet because his friends tell him that it is ok, or because they tell him that no one will know, he commits an act which he knows to be wrong, and which sometimes can have long-lasting effects. How often do Christian adults make decisions that they know violate the Scriptures, and their excuse is that someone else told them that their decision really wasn't wrong, and perhaps that God would understand. You can always find someone who will tell you what you want to hear, particularly if you want to hear that your rebellion against God really isn't all that bad. The solution is to not put your trust in what men say, particularly men who don't understand Biblical truth. Place your confidence in the Word of God, and always follow Its teachings and direction.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery