2 Samuel 10:1-19 – Instead of Admitting A Wrong, Pride Makes Us Commit Another Wrong to Justify The First One

Posted: June 13, 2018 in 10-2 Samuel
Tags: , , , ,

2 Samuel 10:1-19
David Defeats Ammonites

Have you ever reacted hastily to something and then defended the decision even though it was the wrong decision when you should have just admitted you were wrong and sought peace? When I went through my divorce from my first wife, her intentions were clear – to punish and humiliate me to the point that I would come home like a beaten puppy dog that had run away from home. Because she knew of my love for my children, that was one of her main weapons was to withhold the children from me on my designated visitation times. It came to the point as time progressed that she would no longer allow me to pick up the kids at all. It got to the point that I to take legal action filing a contempt of court request with the family court that had jurisdiction over our separation and divorce proceedings. That started a firestorm of the highest order.

Instead of admitting that she had been wrong to withhold my children from me as a weapon to drive me into submission, she continued to try to justify her behavior. Instead of righting a wrong, she added another wrong to it to help justify her first actions. She went as far as to claim that I had molested my oldest daughter when I had her last. Talk about knocking you for a loop. My girls were the reason that I got up in the mornings during the darkest days of the last years of my marriage to their mom. I adored those girls so to make this claim she knew that would be a dagger to the heart to me. It was just plain out mean and hateful. The weird thing in her mind was that if she humiliated and punished me enough I would give in and come home to her. Strange way to show love, huh? If I had done such a thing, why did she not call the cops immediately when this supposedly happened? She waits til the court hearing on the contempt request. Convenient cover for her behavior.

I had to endure police interviews. I had to take a lie detector test (which of course I passed). I had to endure DSS interviews and numerous court hearings. During the course of DSS’s involvement in our lives, it became apparent to the all the principals in our case that my first wife was coming loose at the hinges and had become so preoccupied with destroying me that she was failing to properly take care of the girls. The girls were removed from her care and placed with my parents for a while and then ultimately with me after an arduous three year period in which DSS and family court hearings were a part of our weekly and monthly life. It was not until my first wife remarried some 3 ½ years after our split and all the ugliness in between that she began to settle down. She never lost her hatred for me and was always filling the kids heads with misinformation about me over the years but she was no longer as public about her hatred for me after her remarriage.

Just thinking about those years back in the mid-90s makes me relive those deep down sorrows of the heart as if they just happened yesterday. Intense emotional pain and sorrow can come back to your mind in an instant when you let yourself pull those videotapes out of the mental storage lockers that we have for our past memories. And the sad thing about it was that my first wife never ever admitted that she was wrong about any of these things. She simply compounded one error with another. One lie with another. One meanness with another meanness. Those who all things that I can relive the hurt but I it is with an eye now that it did not have to be that way rather than boiling anger toward her. I can relive the hurt but I chose to move on and forgive her a long time ago. It is a lesson that we all must learn. There will be people who hurt you and then will compound the original problem with justifications instead of seeking true reconciliation. There will be people filled so with pride that they will never admit a wrong to you but will simply add to it to justify their behavior as being right.

That was the thing that I thought of this morning as I read through 2 Samuel 10:1-19 this morning. Let’s read the passage now to see why:

Chapter 10
1 Some time after this, King Nahash[a] of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun just as his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent ambassadors to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

5 When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

6 When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. 7 When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. 8 The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah positioned themselves to fight in the open fields.

9 When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. 10 He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 11 “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you. 12 Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.”

13 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 14 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. After the battle was over, Joab returned to Jerusalem.

15 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel. So when they regrouped, 16 they were joined by additional Aramean troops summoned by Hadadezer from the other side of the Euphrates River.[b] These troops arrived at Helam under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.

17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and led the army to Helam. The Arameans positioned themselves in battle formation and fought against David. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 700 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers,[c] including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When all the kings allied with Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to Israel and became their subjects. After that, the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites.

In this passage, we see that Hanun listened to the wrong advice. He suspected the motives of the ambassadors and humiliated them. Then he realized that he made David angry by his actions and then began to marshal his forces to go to battle. Hanun should have thought through the advice more carefully. But even if he had not reviewed the situation more carefully, he should have tried to negotiate with David. Instead, he refused to admit any fault and got ready for war. Often, we respond angrily and defensively rather than admitting our mistakes, apologizing, and try to defuse the situation. Instead of blazing forward with war, we should seek peace. Instead of harboring pride, let us think of what is best for the situation even if that means that we do not get our way.

Father, help to see that pride is such deceitful emotion that blinds us to the things that we need to change about ourselves. Help us to see that pride will cause us to compound one hurt with another just so that we do not have to admit wrongdoing to another person. Help us to admit when we have hurt another person and seek to make things better in humility. Help us to seek peace rather than seeking in pride to continue to a war. Help us Oh Lord. Help us!

Amen and Amen.

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