Let us move forward in 2nd Samuel 10. Yesterday we looked at verses 1-5 and and how a nice gesture was seen as an insult. Today we are going to pick up with verse 6 and cover through verse 12 and see the results of the misinterpretation of a nice gesture. I think if you take the time to read today you will find some interesting applications to your life.
Let us begin with verse 6: Now when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob with 12,000 men. What is this saying? Basically what we read here is that Hanun and his advisors realized their foolish blunder and so the panic-filled Ammonite king hires 33,000 foreign soldiers to help him repel the anticipated Israelite attack. Here is what we find when we read this story in 1 Chronicles 19:6 – When the sons of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the sons of Ammon sent 1,000 talents of silver to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Aram-maacah and from Zobah. So what we are seeing is that He paid 1000 talents of silver to hire these troops from the north to come and fight his battle for his lack of judgment. In a way he is trying to cover his sin with his own might and power – is that how you try to cover yours or do you go to God with it?
So what then is David’s response to this: 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men. 8 The sons of Ammon came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, while the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the field.
David now gets Joab in place as well as his mighty men and he is ready to go to battle. David is now put into the position where he is going to take care of this situation that started out as a nice gesture and was thought of as an insult and now will end with a war.
Look at what the Ammonites do here. You have them doing a double deployment with Ammonites coming out of the city, then you have the 33,000 northerners coming down and with that you have Joab and the armed forces crunched in between. What you have is a tight spot for Joab but he is a great military mind and leader so what will he do?
Let us look on: 9 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him in front and in the rear, he selected from all the choice men of Israel, and arrayed them against the Arameans. 10 But the remainder of the people he placed in the hand of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the sons of Ammon. 11 He said, "If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come to help you. 12 "Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight."
So what we see is that Joab saw that the battle line was against him and before him and behind him. As the army of the mighty men approached the Ammonite city they found themselves surrounded. In front of them were the Ammonites in battle array at the entrance of the gate. Behind them were the Arameans in the field. It looked bad for the army of Israel here.
Joab had only one strategy in battle – attack. Many generals would consider surrender when surrounded on both sides by the enemy, but not Joab. He called the army to courage and faith and told them to press on.
We see verse 12 which says, Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight. Joab here is giving the men a pep talk and in reality a great speech before the battle and as they are surrounded. He makes at least three great points.
First he said, Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous – Courage and strength are not matters of feeling and circumstance. They are matters of choice, especially when God makes His strength available to us. We can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might as seen in Ephesians 6:10. This is a call to all of us to be strong and courageous! Let us step out of the every day lives we life and begin to live the courageous Christian life!
Then he said, For the sake of our people and for the cities of our God – Joab called them to remember all they had to lose. If they lost this battle they would lose both their people and their cities. This was a battle bigger than them, and the army of the mighty men had to remember that. In our Christian life we need to remember that people die and go to a Christless eternity (Hell) – this Christian life is bigger than our preferences, our thoughts, and our desires. It is all about Christ and His name being lifted on high and not out what we like or don’t like be it a song, a style, or whatever. This battle is about people in the communities we live in dying and going to hell. Let us always keep that in focus.
Finally he said, And may the LORD do what is good in His sight – Joab wisely prepared for the battle to the best of his ability and worked hard for the victory. At the same time, he knew that the outcome was ultimately in God’s hands. We need to prepare ourselves and do all God calls us to do and if we do that, we are doing right things. If we are not doing all for God that we can and we are not preparing ourselves then we are sadly falling short. Can you look God in the eye and tell him that right now you are doing all you can for Him and preparing like you should?
Who gave the best inspirational speech you ever heard?