Tag Archives: war

Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel (chapter 10) Humiliation . . . and War!

Hanun succeeds his father as king of the Ammonites. Wanting to show kindness to him (as Hanun’s father showed to David, ref?), David sends a delegation to express his sympathy concerning Hanun’s father (v. 2).

The Ammonite army commanders think the envoy is coming as spies, shaves off half their beards and cut off their garments at the buttocks (v. 4). David commands his humiliated men to stay at Jericho until their beards have grown.

The Ammonites realize they had become obnoxious to David and hire 20,000 Aramean soldiers, 1000 from the king of Maakah, and 12,000 from Tob (=33,000 soldiers!) (v. 6).

David sends Joab out with an entire army. Joab selects some of the best troops and deploys them against the Arameans. The rest of the men fight under Abishai his brother against the Ammonites. Joab commands Abishai that they will assist each other if the respective enemies are too strong. “Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” (v. 12).

Joab’s troops cause the Arameans to flee; the Ammonites also fled before Abishai. The Arameans regroup, bring in troops from Helam. David kills 700 of their charioteers and 40,000 of their foot soldiers. He also killed the commander of their army. The kings who were vassals of Hadadezer became subject to Israel. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore (v. 19).

Some takeaways for me:
1. In a time of war, men do unspeakable things to each other. The humiliation of David’s men by the Ammonites caused that nation to become “obnoxious” to David and leads to war.
2. Joab’s confidence that “The Lord will do what is good in his sight” (v. 12) ought to be my confidence as well.
3. Life is a battle! And there is no room for spiritual conscientious objectors!

Where am I to spiritually fight today?

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Posted by on March 31, 2019 in 2 Samuel 10


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Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel (chapter 8) Military Victories!

2 Samuel 8 summarizes some of David’s military victories (over the Philistines, the Moabites, etc.). In defeating the Moabites, he did an unusual thing in measuring off with a length of cord those who were to be put to death and those who were to live! (v. 2). Cruelty? No! This is war and it was mercy that any were allowed to survive!

In one victory David captured a thousand chariots, 7000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He hamstrung (disabled) all but a 100 of the chariot horses (v. 4). He killed 22,000 of the Arameans; the rest became subject to David. We read, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” (v. 6).

The plunder from such battles included gold shields and a great quantity of bronze. The king of Hamath gives him articles of silver, gold, and bronze (v. 10), which David dedicated to the Lord. His fame grew after he struck down 18,000 Edomites, making the rest of that people group subject to him. Again we read, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” (v. 14).

We then read about David’s officials and that he was “doing what was just and right for all his people” (v. 15).

Some takeaways for me:
1. Because we live in relatively peaceful times (at least here in the States), we are shocked at the awfulness of war. David is a soldier. Israel is at war with various people groups. And as believers, we have to come to terms with the expression “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.”
2. David dedicates the plunder he receives in military victories. Unlike Saul’s army which “pounced on the plunder” (I Sam. 14), David gives the spoils to the Lord. Greed is an in-bred aspect of our human depravity and we need to be aware of it.
3. We need to make sure that we are “doing what is just and right” for others, as David did.

What takeaways do you find in this passage?

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Posted by on March 23, 2019 in 2 Samuel 8


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Getting to Know . . . 2 Samuel! (2:8-32) War Between Brothers!

Our text this morning is a bit lengthy. But please read the passage before seeing my comments:
David has been anointed as king in Hebron and has thanked the men from Jabesh Gilead for their bravery in retrieving the body of Saul.

But Abner, the son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, took Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth and made him king over several tribes and “all Israel” (v. 9). Ish-Bosheth was 40 years old and reigned two years over Israel. The tribe of Judah remained loyal to David. David reigned in Hebron for 7 and 1/2 years.

Abner and Ish-Bosheth and his men meet up with David’s men at the pool of Gibeon. Abner suggests to Joab “let’s have some of the young men get up and fight hand to hand in front of us.” (v. 14). Two dozen men fought and Abner’s men were defeated by David’s men.

Fleet-footed Asahel chased Abner, was warned twice to stop, but was then killed by Abner. Joab and Abishai pursue Abner. Abner calls out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?” (v. 26).

Joab stops his troops from pursuing Abner. 19 of David’s men were found missing, but David’s men had killed 360 Benjamites who were with Abner. They bury Asahel in Bethlehem. Joab and his men marched all night and arrived at Hebron at daybreak.

Several takeaways for me:
1. It is always sad when God’s people fight against God’s people! Here we have two kings — David and Ish-Bosheth — ruling over parts of Israel. God warned that there would be problems with a human king. Now there are two.
2. Entertainment can be extremely dangerous! It appears that Abner and Joab have their two dozen young men fight to entertain them?
3. Being swift of foot is no substitute for soundness of mind. Asahel may be the poster boy for milers, but his impetuosity lost him his life!
4. War must always be a last option. Abner’s appeal to Joab to stop the bloodshed was a stroke of sanity in the sadness of brother killing brother.


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Posted by on January 29, 2019 in 2 Samuel 2


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The Joy of Unit-Reading #42 (the book of 2 Samuel)

Man, there is a lot of war and fighting in the Old Testament!  If we accept the Old Testament as God’s inspired Word, then we have to come to grips with the violent world of the Israelites.  As we continue our task of unit-reading all the books of the Bible (except for the Psalms), we have taken some notes on 2 Samuel:

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One takeaway for me:  The Bible does not sugarcoat the war stories, deception, or depravity of the Old Testament figures.  Sin is real, but God’s forgiveness is available to all who turn to Him!

My prayer:  “Lord, thank You that I am not personally involved in a physical war, but don’t let me forget the spiritual conflict that rages all around me — and sometimes in me.  Teach my spiritual hands to fight — for Your glory.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in unit-reading


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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 83)

Psalm 83

A song. A psalm of Asaph.Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 6.19.22 AM

O God, do not remain silent;
    do not turn a deaf ear,
    do not stand aloof, O God.
See how your enemies growl,
    how your foes rear their heads.
With cunning they conspire against your people;
    they plot against those you cherish.
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
    so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

With one mind they plot together;
    they form an alliance against you—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
    of Moab and the Hagrites,
Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
    Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
Even Assyria has joined them
    to reinforce Lot’s descendants.[b]

Do to them as you did to Midian,
    as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
    and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
    all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possessionScreen Shot 2015-03-23 at 6.21.49 AM
    of the pasturelands of God.”

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
    like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
    or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
    and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
    so that they will seek your name.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
    may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord
    that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in the book of Psalms


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