Monday, February 20, 2012

1 Chronicles 18 & 19 - Rest on Every Side

LINK: 1 Chronicles 18 & 19 
(Parallel passage in 2 Samuel 8 & 10 included in link)

BACKGROUND 

1 Chronicles 18 (2 Samuel 8)

God promised David, in 2 Samuel 7:11, that He would give him rest from his enemies, and the events in this chapter are a fulfillment of this promise. David would see rest to the west (Philistines), east (Moabites), north (Arameans and Syrians), and south (Edomites).

Israel had been warring with the Philistines for 125 years, and David attacked and defeated them. Next, he defeated the Moabites. The 2 Samuel account mentions "lines" while the 1 Chronicles account does not. Apparently, it was a practice of Eastern kings to have prisoners of war lie down in lines. Then they chose to kill a certain portion of them by lot or measuring line. The 2 Samuel account goes into much more detail about how David slaughtered two thirds of the people. It is surmised that the chronicler was focusing on David's dynasty, and a bit of those roots were founded in Moab through Ruth (Ruth 4:13-21), his great-grandmother! Also, Abraham's nephew Lot was the father of their ancestor Moab (Genesis 19:30-38).

We do not know why David would attack the Moabites in the first place since David had ancestral roots there and had been at peace with them (1 Samuel 22:3-4). It may be because the Moabites had hired Balaam to curse Israel and then led Moab into seducing the men of Israel (Numbers 22-25). 

There is also a difference in the numbers in 1 Chronicles 18:4 (1,000 chariots and 7,000 horsemen) and 2 Samuel 8:4 (the Hebrew reads "1700 horsemen"). 1 Chronicles 18 is believed to be the better-preserved of the texts.

Finally he defeated the Arameans and the Edomites and "the Lord helped David wherever he went" (1 Chronicles 18:6) giving him rest from his enemies.

This is all recorded because God had promised that He would give Israel all the country as far as the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18; Numbers 24:17). 

1 Chronicles 19 (2 Samuel)

David wanted to show kindness to Hanun, the new Ammonite king, because Hanun's father had been kind to him, but Hanun''s advisers led Hanun to believe that David had sinister motives for sending his men. So, David's men were humiliated by having their beards and garments cut. In Israelite culture, a full beard was a sign of maturity and authority. 

What Hanun's men did to David's men was a great indignity. This was considered a declaration of war, and the Israelites responded by defeating the Ammonites. The Chronicles account mentions that Hanun hired the Arameans of Mesopotamia, Aram Maach, and Zobah while the 2 Samuel account mentions Arameans of Beth Rehob, Zobah, Maach, and Tob. Also, Chronicles mentions the silver payment while the other omits it. Lastly, Chronicles mentions chariot forces while the Samuel mentions infantrymen. There are no contradictions but just complementary accounts that give us the whole picture. 

REFLECTION (written in 2012)


And the Lord helped David wherever he went. 
(1 Chronicles 18:6, NASB95) 

Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous 
for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; 
and may the Lord do what is good in His sight. 
(1 Chronicles 19:13, NASB95) 

The minute I start thinking that I have done some great thing is when I fall. The minute I start thinking that I am all alone in my battles is when I go into a tailspin. I have been there and done that so many times in the past; but lately, not so much! GROWTH! I am realizing (sometimes almost unconsciously) that the Lord is the one who helps me. The Lord is the one who does what is good in His sight. 

I was trying to think of a recent battle, but there have not been any lately. I have rest on every side, but it is not because I have done anything other than let go and gotten out of the Lord's way. 

I had a potential battle on my hands when someone chewed me out on the phone a few months ago, but I did not take it as my battle. I knew it was the Lord's, and I knew it was between that person and her God.

What was so great was that I was able to respond to this person without defense because, in that moment, I could recognize that this was God's job. In the past, I could probably come to that realization after much prayer and hearing the truth from God, but I was hearing truth from God right as it was happening in real time! Such growth for me! Such a slow lesson to learn too.

Not only was I able to hear God's truth, but He gave me the words to ask the hard question that got to the heart of the matter, and I could say, "Is maybe this other situation behind your frustration with me?" 

The response was a flood of tears about loneliness and loss she was experiencing that had nothing to do with my failures to meet her expectations in certain areas. We grew closer from it, and there has not been any weirdness between us as a result. 

I laid down that night saying to George, "Why am I not more shook up about this? She really chewed me out. Why am I so peaceful? This is not like me!"

But it is like God when I move out of the way and "do what is good in His sight." 

APPLICATION 

Are you fighting some battle that is beyond you and your strength and ability? Well, this is a perfect opportunity for you to move out of the way and let God "Do what is good in His sight."  

Ready?

MOVE OUT OF THE WAY by talking to God about it right now. 

PRAYER

Lord, we humbly admit that we often try to fight our own battles. We admit this as pride and self-sufficiently. Please forgive us, and help us to move out of the way so that You can do all that You see good in your sight. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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