The message I received today from this chapter is to be careful with whom I form alliances.
King David was sending a peaceful delegation to express his sorrow to the Ammonites since their king had died. Years earlier the king had showed kindness to David.
However, some of the Ammonite nobles whispered to the king’s son, Hanun, that David was only sending men to spy on them so they could overthrow them.
Listening to this evil counsel, Hanun seized David’s men and humiliated them and sent them back with half-shaven beards and hospital gowns. Not a wise move.
Ultimately, this led to war.
Now, Hanun hired soldiers from Aramea, Rehob, Zobah, Maacah and Tob.
…and David killed seven hundred of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot soldiers. [b] He also struck down Shobach the commander of their army, and he died there. 19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.
It might have been better for those who came to fight for Hanun to stay home that day.
Better yet, this could have all been avoided had Hanun not listened to his nobles with their suspicious whispers.
I think it all goes back to asking God before doing anything – which we see David doing, especially in his early years.
Lord, help us to follow the path you have for us today – not listening to gossip or our own paranoid or selfish whispers. You ordain our steps, Lord. Help us to seek your counsel for each decision.