And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. — 2 Samuel 10:11
We are in a spiritual warfare. We are not alone in the battle because the Lord is with us. We also stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of God around the world who have joined this great fray.
Many of the spiritual soldiers in this battle are not young specimens of physical strength. I think of my mother who, in the latter part of her life, was a very frail lady. But could she pray! She had long prayer lists, and when she heard of a need, she wrote it on her list. After months of praying, she would ask how the situation was coming along — after we forgot we had ever mentioned it to her. Another thing my mother did was to write letters of encouragement to people who were housebound. She was legally blind, so she wrote with large letters, but she got her message across. Although not rich in this world’s goods, my mother was very generous, giving little gifts here or there where she saw a need. Of course, we feel she was very rich in soul and character!
Then one day, my mother became very ill. Now it was our turn to lend a helping hand. We were able to bring her into our home for the last months of her life. I can say it was a privilege to take care of her — it was like caring for an angel. The tables had turned: my mother, who had given so much to others, was in a position to receive help from someone else. How much like the family of God! At times we have resources to share, and at other times we are the recipients. Each person looks out for the other and lends a helping hand when needed.
We are encouraged in God’s Word to help carry the burdens of those around us. We should be on the lookout for those who seem heavy-hearted or overwhelmed by their circumstances. We need to be quick to lend a helping hand or to offer an encouraging word. Let us remember to pray for a brother or sister who is going through a trial. As we endeavor to do this, we will find the saints of God are eager to show empathy for our burdens and to help us carry our loads when necessary.
God’s family reaches around the world. Many of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ suffer persecution and even martyrdom. Let us not forget to help them bear their burdens by spending time in prayer for those who are suffering. As we help to lift the burdens of others, we will be fulfilling one of Christ’s commissions to His people.
After Nahash the king of Ammon died, David sent condolences to Hanun the new king. Hanun distrusted David’s motives and shamed David’s messengers by cutting off part of their garments and cutting off half their beards. Full beards were regarded as a sign of maturity and authority in Israelite culture, so Hanun’s act caused great offense. When King Hanun realized how seriously this act had angered David, he gathered his forces together and joined with certain Syrian armies to come toward Jerusalem to battle.
Joab, David’s army captain, divided his army into two groups, and he put one group into the control of Abishai his brother, enabling them to come against the enemy on two fronts. They met Ammon’s forces near Rabbah, which was northeast of Jerusalem, and won the victory as the enemy forces fled before Israel.
The enemy regrouped and summoned additional Syrian forces to fight Israel, and they gathered in Helam, which was much farther north. David gathered the Israeli army and led the attack at Helam. Again the enemy fled and David was victorious. The Syrians proceeded to make peace and serve Israel because they feared to attack Israel again.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The shame of King David
A. David’s sin with Bathsheba
1. The background of David’s shame
a. Hanun’s insult to David (10:1-5)
b. Hanun’s coalition with the Syrians (10:6-8)
c. Joab’s initial defeat of the coalition (10:9-14)
d. David’s second defeat of the Syrians (10:15-19)
Let us be quick to sense a need in the family of God and then do our best to help fill it.