The first account we have the contents of this chapter are found 1 Samuel 10.
We read here that David desired to express genuine sorrow for the death of Nahash; however his son’s (Nahash’s) counselors objected to it and concocted a lie that led to thousands of lives being killed. Too often we fail to realize the consequences of our actions, as they many times go far beyond our personal lives; which this encounter vividly illustrates. Before making choices, a level of discernment is required to comprehend the potential scope of those decisions, as well as the costs.
As a result of the messengers of hope being humiliated by Hanun, David determined to give retribution for their behavior. The Ammonites saw that and hired the Syrians to assist them in going to battle against Israel. Even to this day there is conflict between Israel and Syria, that pre-dates this encounter with David.
Joab was commissioned to the battle and he chose his brother Abishai to have charge over army that would battle the Ammonites and Joab would engage the Syrians. They saw the numbers weren’t in their favor and that defeat was a very probable outcome. It was at that point Joab presented another scenario that would hopefully bring victory; which was coming to the aid of one another if their battle became too much. Listen to what Joab said to his brother; “Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”
When confronted with challenges, leaders, to be effective, must present themselves with good courage and being strong for the encouragement and benefit of those they lead. Some may suggest that is “faking it”; permit me to suggest that is “FAITHING IT!” Leaders aren’t exempt from living by faith just because of position. In fact it has been my observation and limited experience that leadership has a greater responsibility to not only live by faith, but also to lead by faith.
As a result of their determination and being motivated by for Whom they were really warring (the Lord), there was something that happened resulting in immediate change. Both the Syrians and the Ammonites “fled” from Israel. The result being the Syrians came under the authority of Israel and began to give David tribute.
Just as Syria and Ammon fled from Israel, so we too can see that the enemies that have humiliated us in times past can and will be defeated. The humiliation takes on many forms; all the way from embarrassment, rejection, financial challenges, family conflict to differences of opinion. Whatever the cause, humiliation can be cut off and destroyed by the LIGHT and SALT of our lives.
Reject the shame of humiliation and see the enemy serve you; rather than you serving them.