Monday, November 21, 2011


Today's passage:  II Samuel 10
     The new king of Ammon had a lot to learn about foreign policy.  His father had died, and now he is suddenly leading his country.  As is custom today, and apparently at that time, King David of Israel sends dignitaries to pay their respects for the old king's death.  Only Hanun, the new king, listens to bad advice.  His counsellors are certain that David only means to send spies into the land, so that they can get some kind of advantage if they choose to make war on them.  Hanun could have sent David's emissaries away.  Instead, he chooses to insult them in the worst way possible.  You can read about his actions in verses 4-5.  What he does brings great humiliation to these ambassadors.  And it was unnecessary.  If he was concerned about war with Israel before, he should be doubly concerned now.  Was he trying to entice David into battle?  I don't know.  David and Hanun's father had mutual peace since the whole reason David sent these men was because "his father shewed kindness unto me."
     Hanun knows what will happen when David's men return to Israel.  He is expecting a war.  So he hires Syrian soldiers to aid them in battle.  All the countries know what a formidable warrior David and his men have proven to be.  Hanun is not foolish enough to think that Ammon can fight this war alone.  He knows he needs an ally.  Syria is willing to help, with payment for their services of course.  So when David's military leaders, Joab and Abishai arrive, they strategize as to the best way to take out these two countries.  Syria is stationed on the front lines, which I guess is a pretty good plan since their motivation to fight would be a lot less than Ammon's.  The Ammonites are guarding the castle, they are the last line of defense.
     Joab is a clever strategist.  He takes on the Syrian front, while Abishai, his brother, leads the front against Ammon.  Joab's battle is going pretty well.  He even returns to Jerusalem.  This gives Syria time to send for reinforcements.  With this news, David decides to lead his men.  He crosses over the Jordan River and destroys the Syrians at Helam.  Those remaining, surrender and agree to be David's servants from this time forward.  Syria also decides that they will never assist Ammon in battle again.  Apparently, Hanun did not make a great military leader.
     When I read this passage, it shows me that when provoked, it is necessary to show our might.  So many people protest that we are fighting a war across the world.  But we were provoked into that war.  Maybe in the past we have gone into countries without provocation, but this was not the case with this last war we have been involved.  Like David's emissaries, we were disgraced, and on our own land.  We had not given any reason for enemies to attack us.  Except that we stood for something they were envious of, except that we are despised for what we believe.  Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and we have been able to maintain freedom for over 200 years.  The Judeo part is what really disturbs many countries of the world.  We were propagators for establishing Israel as a nation, and we continue (at least in part) to be Israel's friend.  When we do those things, we are naturally going to have and keep enemies.  And there will be times we will have to display our strength to assure our enemies that we will not back down on those principles.  I worry about those who do not understand this.  I am concerned for people who preach against war and say "Thou shalt not kill" forgetting the entire Old Testament, where war was a very necessary option exercised to maintain Jehovah worship.  And what about Revelation?  I mean, it is not exactly a peaceful book.
United States of America flag waving in wind--Taken from Standard Bible Story Readers, Book Four
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O. A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
The Standard Publishing Company, 1927
     Do not misunderstand me, I am not a fan of war.  I have three boys.  I do not look forward to the day when they might decide to join the military and serve our country in a battle overseas (although I would be proud if they did).   I know that the toil war takes on our young men and women is psychologically and emotionally devastating.  But I also know that if we don't show our might, if we kowtow to every dignitary, proclaim a pacifist approach to every situation, we will not be sending our men and women overseas to fight a battle, they will have to protect us here on our own soil.  Sometimes we have to take the defensive, and I know that is something that is very controversial.  But I think this passage is proof that when provoked, we have to take action.  We cannot sit and wait for the war to come to us.  We have too much at stake to risk that.  We have freedoms that the world envies.  We have a country with opportunities that other countries can only dream of.  Might does not always make right, but might does make other countries think twice about challenging us.  With an upcoming election, and more and more candidates jumping onto an isolationist bandwagon--leave the world to itself, let's only worry about us approach--it concerns me.  The minute we say we are going to do that  is the minute our enemies (and yes, it is good versus evil in this wicked world) will up the ante.  Not going to retaliate?  Let's just see about that.  Hijacked airplanes flown into buildings was just the beginning.  There is no end to their evil imaginings.  And at some point we will have to retaliate because we will have enemies in our own country declaring war on us.  We will live in a state of fear, all because of misapplying "Thou shalt not kill".  All because we do not want to be politically incorrect.  Well, we can take that path, but it will be our destruction.  David went on the offensive.  He destroyed the Ammonites and Syrians before they had a chance to cross over the river and take him down.  He did not invite war, he was provoked.  And it was necessary to combat the evil that would try to destroy him.  Peace on earth is a nice saying, but trying to keep to ourselves will never achieve that.  Peace on earth will only happen when the Prince of Peace returns.  Until then, unless there is Peace in people's hearts, there will always be war.  And guess which country has the most Peace to offer?  Ours.  We can offer Peace, we can offer Freedom, but if we are no longer a nation with the liberties we have, we will never be able to offer anything again.  We cannot keep to ourselves.  We have too much to offer.


  1. Good post. This mother of five boys, with one turning 18 near 9-11, I had to deal with this then...would God call them or even the government call them to serve. He didn't nor did the government, but my daughter now dates a Marine who has served already.

    This is a hard thing to grasp when you heart wants to say "no" because you don't want anyone hurt....but the scripture tells us that there will be more and more wars as the end of times comes closer. There won't be peace until Christ comes back for His Bride.

    Happy Thanksgiving...

  2. I agree Janette, and I get irritated with people who say we can't afford to be in a war, that we need to take care of our own. While it is true that we have many domestic issues that need tending, people seem to misunderstand that if we are not over there, they will be over here, and it will be a far more expensive situation when we have to combat evil in our own towns and cities. I want to ask them which is more expensive, the money to keep the war over there, or the lives over here that will pay?
    That aside...I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I'll be thinking about you as I help out washing dishes this year.


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