Friday, 18 January 2013

Wrong Advice: Wrong Side of the War – 2 Samuel 10 (RBHW)

Although you do not know everything, sometimes you must allow your own judgement to guide you, because the wrong advice could lead you into the wrong side of a war.  This was the fate of Hanun, new king of Ammon.  His late father, whom he succeeded to the throne, and king David were civil.  In a clear bid to maintain good relations David sent a delegation to convey his condolences.  But following the advice of the princes of the people Hanun had David’s servants humiliated.  Realizing what they had done, and suddenly realizing they were no match for the Israelites, the Ammonites hired the Syrians and prepared for war.  The rest is history (as recorded in 2 Samuel 10). 

One clear lesson from this experience is: be careful about the advice you take.  "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

Another thought that came to me as I read the chapter is the reminder that God is truly with His people, especially as we do battle with the devil.

"Woe unto the inhabitants of the earth."  The battle lines are drawn, and Satan is out to do us in.  But the word is that we should, "Be sober, be vigilant; resist the devil and he will flee from you."  Victory is assured, as we've seen it happen in this chapter.

As I read the account of the first attempted battle, whereas the Israelites approached the Syrians they fled from before them, I thought of the ratio of good angels to evil angels - 2:1.  God can always swell an army - as Elisha's servant discovered (2 Kings 6: 17).  This also reminds me of a late brother-in-law who was a police officer, who was asked by a criminal element, "If you're such a 'clean' policeman how can you afford to have soldiers guarding your house?"  When Jesus says, "and lo, I will be with you always," He means it.

Lord, thank you this morning that we're not facing the enemy alone, but You are with us all the way.  May we always behave with that understanding, so we would never drive Your presence away with our sinful indulgences, or embarrass You by being fearful.  Indeed, it is a mighty God that we serve, and with you we need no one else.  Thank you for being our personal God; our Father, in Jesus' name, amen.

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