1Chronicles 18-20

Sunday Evening Bible Study

October 20, 2002

Introduction

We are in the middle of the reign of David over the nation of Israel.

1Chronicles 18

:1-2 David conquers Philistia, Moab

:1 Philistines

Philistia was the nation located to the west of Israel, their perennial enemy, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

:1 Gath

About 30 miles west and south of Jerusalem.

The parallel passage states:

2Samuel 8:1 Now after this it came about that David defeated the Philistines and subdued them; and David took control of the chief city from the hand of the Philistines.

So, apparently Gath was considered the chief of the five Philistine cities. (Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gaza, Lachish, Gath)

Also, Gath was the home of David's first conquest, Goliath.

:2 Moab

These were the descendants of Lot's incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter (Gen.19:37).

The nation was located on the east of the Dead Sea. Notice how David is conquering the nations that sandwich him in.

At one time, David had been on good terms with the Moabites.

I Samuel 22:3-4 And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, [and be] with you, till I know what God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.

David's great grandmother, Ruth, was a Moabite.

But this conquest of Moab was severely cruel, the reasons are unknown.

II Samuel 8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And [so] the Moabites became David's servants, [and] brought gifts.

:3-8 David conquers Syria

:3 Zobah

Zobah was the area far to the north of Israel, north of Damascus.

:3 the river Euphrates

The river Euphrates is over 300 miles from Israel.

Why is David doing all this conquering?

Gen.13:14-18

God promises the land to Abraham

Gen.15:18-21

God gets specific with the borders - Nile to Euphrates

Deut.11:18-25

Borders defined again: Great Sea, Euphrates, Lebanon

:5 Syrians

Or, Arameans, were the nation just to the north of Israel, with Damascus as its capital.

:6 the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went

preservedyasha‘– (Hiphil) to save, deliver; to save from moral troubles; to give victory to

(NASB - "the Lord helped David wherever he went")

Everywhere David went, God went too, keeping him safe.

:7 shields of gold

It seems that gold shields seem to be a picture of God's blessing and protection.

Here we see David capturing and taking gold shields. Later, Solomon would make 300 shields of gold, the pinnacle of the kingdom.

II Chronicles 9:16 And three hundred shields [made he of] beaten gold: three hundred [shekels] of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

Under Solomon's son Rehoboam, the nation began its decline, as pictured with the gold shields being taken away.

II Chronicles 12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

:8 brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.

Lesson

Building on victories

With each new victory, David stores away more treasure to be used in the building of the temple.
David’s life didn’t consist in one victory
We might think only of David killing Goliath.
But his victory in battles went far beyond that.
Our lives also need to be more than just about “one” victory.
We’re going to have one challenge after another. With each new victory, God is building a bigger trophy of His grace – you.
pillars – when I was preparing for Caleb and Kim’s wedding, some thoughts about the Temple pillars hit me in relation to God’s promise in Rev. 3:12, where God promises to take the overcomers and make them “pillars” in His Temple.
A pillar is what holds things up. It’s what keeps the roof from falling in. In the Old Testament, the king would “lean on the pillar” or “stand by the pillar” when he’d address the people – just as Jesus will work through you to address others. As a pillar, others will look to you. In Solomon’s temple, the pillars had names, “Jachin” and “Boaz”. The names meant “He shall establish” and “In it is strength”. God wants to work through you two to establish others in the faith and to make others strong (even when you’re weak).
God wants to make you a pillar – taken from victory, building on it.

:9-13 Friends and enemies

:9 Tou king of Hamath

Hamath was also north of Israel, on its northern border, thought to be near Zobah. Nothing else is known about this particular king.

:10 to congratulate him

Apparently Tou was the enemy of Hadarezer. When he heard that David had defeated him, he wanted to be David’s friend.

:11 Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD

He dedicated these things for the construction of the temple.

:12 Abishai

David’s nephew. Son of Zeruiah, David’s sister, also brother of Joab, the commander of the army.

:12 the Edomites

Edom was southeast from Israel, in the wilderness.

These were the descendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother.

:12 the valley of salt eighteen thousand

The Valley of Salt is probable in Edom, near the Dead Sea.

We have an apparent contradiction in scripture here.

Psalms 60:1 {To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.} O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Suggestions:

1) Abishai was in charge of the entire campaign against the Edomites, and Joab was just in charge of part of the army that killed two-thirds of those killed.

2) These are two different battles, two different leaders, two different outcomes.

:14-17 David’s organization

:15 recorder

Not a lot is known about this particular government office, except that many of the kings are said to have had a recorder. Possibly this was the official historian for the king, to record what the king did.

:17 the Cherethites and the Pelethites

Pulpit Commentary - “Two tribes of Philistines whom David attached. The meaning and derivation of these two names leave it possible to translate them at once, and to read, “the public executioners, and the public couriers,” not treating them as proper names, and to this course Gesenius gives his sanction. On the other hand, a comparison of 1Sam.30:14 and 2Sam.15:18 would lead us to treat them as the names of people, although the Pelethites are not as identifiable in this sense as the Cherethites and Gittites. Anyway, it is evident they were the special guard of the king, and were faithful to David and to Solomon after him. Their duties included those of the executioner or lictor, and the courier. They are frequently mentioned on special occasions of the king’s moving, and of danger (2Sam.15:18; 20:7,23; 1Ki.1:38,44).

:14 executed judgment and justice

It doesn’t mean that he put judgment and justice to death J

(NASB - "he administered justice and righteousness for all his people")

judgmentmishpat – judgment, justice, ordinance; This is a governing word, using justice in ruling over others.

justice[email protected] – justice, righteousness; conformity to an ethical or moral standard

Lesson

Be a good boss

(Eph 6:5-9 NLT) Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. {6} Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. {7} Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. {8} Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. {9} And in the same way, you masters must treat your slaves right. Don't threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.
vs. 9 – “in the same way”, just like the “slaves” you need to work for the Lord
vs. 9 – Don’t be a boss that constantly “threatens”.
vs. 9 – Don’t play favorites. Treat everyone fairly.

1Chronicles 19:1-19

:1-5 Humiliated Ambassadors

:1 Nahash

There is a story about another man named Nahash:

I Samuel 11:1-2 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh-gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this [condition] will I make [a covenant] with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it [for] a reproach upon all Israel.

This Nahash was a bad guy, threatening the people of Jabesh-gilead unless they blind themselves in one eye.
Saul was the one who delivered them from Nahash.

It is possible that this is the same Nahash as our story, but since it took place something like sixty years earlier, it could also be his son.

:1 Ammon

Don't confuse the Ammonites with the Amorites or the Arameans.

They were the descendants of Lot with one of his daughters (the other was Moab). (Gen. 19:38)

These were a wicked people who worshipped the god Molech. Molech was the idol with the outstretched arms, on whom they would sacrifice their babies. Israel followed their gods (1Ki. 11:7)

:2 I will shew kindness unto Hanun

Lesson

The tragedy of misunderstandings

David’s intentions are honorable.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our actions are misunderstood.
Illustration
BLONDE TRAVELER
A plane is on its way to Montreal when a blonde in Economy Class gets up and moves to the First Class section and sits down. The flight attendant watches her do this and asks to see her ticket. She then tells the blonde that she paid for Economy and that she will have to sit in the back. The blonde replies “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Montreal and I’m staying right here!” The flight attendant goes into the cockpit and tells the pilot and copilot that there is some blonde bimbo sitting in First Class that belongs in Economy and won’t move back to her seat. The copilot goes back to the blonde and tries to explain that because she only paid for Economy she will have to leave and return to her seat. The blonde replies, “I’m blonde, I’m beautiful, I’m going to Montreal and I’m staying right here!” The copilot tells the pilot that they probably should have the police waiting when they land to arrest this blonde woman that won’t listen to reason. The pilot says, “You say she’s blonde? I’ll handle this. I’m married to a blonde. I speak ‘blonde’!” He goes back to the blonde, whispers in her ear, and she says “Oh, I’m sorry” . . . gets up and moves back to her seat in the Economy section. The flight attendant and copilot are amazed and asked him what he said to make her move without any fuss. The Pilot said, “I told her First Class isn’t going to Montreal.
In marriage, misunderstanding and non-communication can wreak havoc.
We need to learn to hold our breath before react to the things that our mate might say or do. We may interpret it as an attack, when all they are doing is trying to be kind.
(Prov 18:13 KJV)  He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
Be careful if you start responding to someone by declaring war.  What if you’ve misunderstood them?

:2 because his father shewed kindness to me

We don’t have an account of this. Perhaps his father was kind to David while David was fleeing from Saul.

:4 shaved them … cut off their garments …

This was a way of humiliating these men.

Having their beard cut off was a way of making them to be children, beardless.

Having their clothes cut off at the waist was … pretty embarrassing!

:5 Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown

Lesson

Time to restore

There are times when we fall into things that cause us great shame.
Give yourself some time to get over it.
Let your beard grow.

:6-15 Ammonite War

:6 they had made themselves odious

The parallel passage in 2Samuel...

II Samuel 10:6 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ish-tob twelve thousand men.

It’s possible that they realized that they had made a huge mistake.

It’s possible that they’re simply thinking that David is now going to respond to the humiliation of his ambassadors.

:7 they hired thirty and two thousand chariots

They realized they needed help, so they hired some mercenaries out of Syria to the north.

They brought in a whole bunch of ringers.

Things have gotten worse, and David hasn’t even gone to war yet.

:7  and pitched …

It was a baseball game.

:7 Medeba

A city 30 miles to the east of Jerusalem, on the other side of the Dead Sea.

It is also located about 25 miles south of Rabbah, the capital of the Ammonites.

The idea is that these hired mercenaries set up camp down in Medeba, while the Ammonites prepared for battle in Rabbah.

Their plan is to trap the Israeli army as they march to Rabbah.

Lesson

Be careful about escalating the war

Everything is happening because of a misunderstanding. Not only have the Ammonites misunderstood David’s reason for sending ambassadors, but now they’ve taken the misunderstanding up a notch into total war.
When you face conflict, you have a choice.
(Prov 15:1 KJV) A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

You have a choice as to how you respond to a situation. You can choose to use soft words or “grievous” words. If you use harsh words, you are making a choice to throw gasoline onto the fire. If you use gentle words, you are throwing water on the fire. There’s no guarantee that you will be able to put the fire out, but why make things worse?

:9 put the battle in array …

NASB - drew up in battle array

Joab has come to fight with the Ammonites, at their capital city of Rabbah, and while he pulls up and sets up camp, out in the field arrives the hired Arameans, trapping Joab between the city and the Arameans.

The stage is set for the big fight...

:11 they set themselves in array …

Joab is cut off, the Syrians on one side, the Ammonites on the other.

Joab is taking the best men to put them against the better army, the Syrians.

The rest of the men are to fight against the Ammonites, led by Abishai.

Lesson

Use of strategy

It doesn't hurt to think things out a little bit, try to do the smart thing.
(Prov 24:6 KJV) For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

:12 then I will help thee

Lesson

Helping each other

There are times when the enemy is just too much for us, and that's when we need our brothers and sisters to come and help us.
Illustration
Alligator Shoes
An Army Ranger was on holiday in the depths of Louisiana, where he tried to buy some Alligator shoes. However, he was not prepared to pay the high prices. After failing to haggle the vendor down to a reasonable price level, he end up shouting “I don’t give two hoots for your shoes, man, I’ll go and kill my own!” The shopkeeper replied, “By all means. Just watch out for the two Marines who are doing the same.” So the man went out into the Bayou, and after a while saw two men with spears, standing still in the water. “They must be the two Marines,” he thought. Just at that point he noticed an alligator moving in the water toward one of them. The Marine stood completely passive, even as the gator came ever closer. Just as the beast was about to swallow him, the Marine struck home with his spear and wrestled the gator up onto the beach, where several already lay. Together the two Marines threw the gator onto its back, whereupon one exclaimed “Rats! This one doesn’t have any shoes either!”
Well … I guess it helps if we’re really helping each other do the right thing!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two [are] better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him [that is] alone when he falleth; for [he hath] not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm [alone]? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

God didn’t design us to be “Lone Ranger” Christians. We need each other.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

:13  Be of good courage

be of good couragechazaq – to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute

Lesson

Encourage one another

That’s what encouragement is all about, putting courage into someone else.
Illustration
A couple of years ago, there was a television program on PBS about the Library of Congress.  PBS’s former chairman, Sir Huw Wheldon, was standing in a forest of card index files.  The program had all the makings of a slow-moving, dull documentary until....
About halfway through, Dr. Daniel Boorstin, the Librarian of Congress, brought out a little blue box from a small closet that once held the library’s rarities.  The label on the box read: Contents of the President’s Pockets on the Night of April 14, 1865.
Since that was the fateful night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, every viewer’s attention was seized.
Boorstin then proceeded to remove the items in the small container and display them on camera.  There were five things in the box:

A handkerchief, embroidered “A. Lincoln”

A country boy’s pen knife

A spectacles case repaired with string

A purse containing a $5 bill—Confederate money (!)

Some old and worn newspaper clippings

“The clippings,” said Boorstin, “were concerned with the great deeds of Abraham Lincoln.  And one of them actually reports a speech by John Bright which says that Abraham Lincoln is “one of the greatest men of all times.”
Today, that’s common knowledge.  The world now knows that British statesman John Bright was right in his assessment of Lincoln, but in 1865 millions shared quite a contrary opinion. The President’s critics were fierce and many.  His was a lonely agony that reflected the suffering and turmoil of his country ripped to shreds by hatred and cruel, costly war.
There is something touchingly pathetic in the mental picture of this great leader seeking solace and self-assurance from a few old newspaper clippings as he reads them under the flickering flame of a candle all alone in the Oval Office.
Everyone needs encouragement.  You might think a person like Abraham Lincoln never needed it, but he did.  You might not think that people in leadership positions need encouragement, but they do.  How about your boss at work?  Are you one of the people that constantly criticizes the boss, or works to encourage the boss?  How about those who lead some of the ministries at church?  They need encouragement.
Illustration
Mr. Charles Schwab was one of the first men ever to earn a million dollars a year.  Why did Andrew Carnegie pay Schwab more than $3,000 a day?  Because he knew more about the manufacture of steel than other people?  No.  Schwab said that he had many men working for him whose technical knowledge surpassed his.
Schwab was paid such a handsome amount largely because of his ability to deal with people.  Here is the secret set down in his own words:

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.  There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of man as criticisms from his superiors.  I never criticize anyone.  I believe in giving a man incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault.  If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

There might be people around you that could use a little encouragement.
Hebrews 3:12,13 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Don’t wait for others to encourage you, look for those who around you and build them up.

:13  let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people …

let us behave ourselves valiantlychazaq – This is the same word that was translated “Be of good courage”, but here it’s in a slightly different form.  (Hithpael) to strengthen oneself; to put forth strength, use one’s strength; to withstand; to hold strongly with

The idea is not just to be strong, but to be strong for a reason – “for our people, and for the cities of our God”

Lesson

Remember those who need you

As men, we need to be strong for others.  There are others who will look to us for strength.  There will be others who look to us to see how they should live.
We are to be setting an example for others to follow:
Paul wrote to Timothy:

(1 Tim 4:12 KJV)  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Paul wrote to the Philippians:

(Phil 3:17 ICB)  Brothers, all of you should try to follow my example and to copy those who live the way we showed you.

People are going to watch our lives and make decisions and choices based on what they see.
Our wives need us.  Don’t forget them.
Our kids need us.

Illustration

In His Mother's Steps

Davida Dalton writes:

It was a busy day in our Costa Mesa, California home. But then, with 10 children and one on the way, every day was a bit hectic. On this particular day, however, I was having trouble doing even routine chores-all because of one little boy.

Len, who was three at the time, was on my heels no matter where I went. Whenever I stopped to do something and turned back around, I would trip over him. Several times, I patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied. “Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” I asked again.

But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind me.

After stepping on his toes for the fifth time, I began to lose my patience and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. When I asked him why he was acting this way, he looked up at me with sweet green eves and said, “Well, Mommy, in preschool my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I’m walking in yours.”

Setting an example is not just a mother’s business.  It is a father’s responsibility.

(Prov 17:6 KJV)  Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

Your kids are watching you.  Your kids were born to idolize you.  You need to be strong for them.

:14  let the LORD do that which is good in his sight

Joab is putting the outcome into God’s hands.

Lesson

Trust the Lord

Ultimately, none of the efforts we make are of any use unless the Lord is a part of it.
Solomon wrote,
(Psa 127:1 KJV)  A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
David wrote,
(Psa 20:7 KJV)  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

:15 they likewise fled

Isn't it funny how our problems (or enemies) will just flee away when we hear about the victory that someone else has had?

This is an important aspect of encouraging one another, sharing God's victory with one another.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

When God has comforted you in an area, you can comfort others by sharing the comfort (or victory) that God has given to you.

:16-19 Peace with Syria

:16 drew forth the Syrians that [were] beyond

Most of the time, we don't get victory by a single battle.

If you take it easy after one victory, watch out, the enemy is going to come back, with even more troops!

:19 they made peace with David

Victory through perseverance!

If David had become cocky with Joab's first victory, he would have been in big trouble!

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

After listing the armor of God, Paul tells us to pray always, continuous prayer, continuous watching.

I Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

The tense of "walketh" (NASB - "prowls") is a present tense, continuous action. The devil is continually looking for a way to attack you and make you ineffective in your service.

Continual watchfulness, continual diligence, continual prayer.

:19 neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more

I think it's interesting how God can work in our lives.

Sometimes there are people who give us the biggest of hassles. They become allied with the enemy, trying all they can to get us down.

But when we persevere, when we stand firm, they often do a turn around and though they may not always come to Jesus, they do learn to respect the awesome power behind you.

1Chronicles 20

:1-3 Victory over Ammon

:1 came and besieged Rabbah

The Ammonites had mistrusted David's intentions. When he had sent his servants to comfort the new king, they were humiliated by the Ammonites.

The Ammonites realized they had made a mistake, and got ready for a battle.

Joab was sent and fought the Ammonites at Rabbah. But he left the city standing.

Here, Joab has gone back to finish the job.

:1 David tarried at Jerusalem

In the parallel account in 2Samuel 11, it is at this time that David falls with his most infamous sin, that with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.

II Samuel 11:1-2 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth [to battle], that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman [was] very beautiful to look upon.

When David sent word to Joab to have Uriah put in the front lines, it was while they were taking Rabbah.

Rather than get into that whole scene, there are two things I want to point out from the perspective of the 1Chronicles account.

Lesson

Danger in idleness

It happened “at the time that kings go out to battle” (springtime, when it was warm enough to hold a decent war), but David stayed behind in Jerusalem.
David should have been out with the rest of the guys, doing what kings were supposed to do, but instead he was at home, playing hooky.
Some of the greatest times of temptation come when we are neglecting what we should be doing.
Grandmothers always tell us, “Idle minds are the Devil’s playground”.
Not that we should never stop to rest, but when we do, we need to realize that temptation is always just around the corner.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Lesson

The blessing of forgiveness

The account is not mentioned here. Why? I think as an illustration of God's mercy and forgiveness.
As Christians, God no longer keeps a record of our wrongs. The book has been wiped clean.  God has forgotten.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Micah 7:18-19 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Corrie Ten Boom used to say that not only has God cast our sins into the depths of the sea, but He’s posted a “No Fishing” sign there. Don’t go dredging up what God has buried.

There are some of us who haven't fully let the impact of these verses hit us. We still try to punish ourselves for past sins. Or we are afraid of being ruined for life.
Look carefully to what God says about your sins.

:2 David took the crown of their king

There are two possibilities about how this verse is translated:

1. It is referring to Hanun, who had misinterpreted David's act of kindness (ch.19), causing the current war.

2. Another possibility, the Hebrew word for “their king” here is molecham, or the name of their god, Molech.

Molech - also called Milcom, this was the main god of the Ammonites. The idol had a face like an ox, a body like a man's, was hollow and made of brass. The idol was placed within seven chapels, the more you sacrificed, the deeper inside you were allowed. If you offered flour, you were only allowed into the first chapel, but if you offered your baby, you were allowed into the seventh chapel. The idol had arms stretched out, as if receiving something, and was heated in the fire until it glowed red. Then the offering, or child was placed on the red hot arms and burned alive while they beat drums to drown out the cries of the baby. The same god was worshipped by the Moabites, but called Chemosh.
It could be that David took the “crown of Molech”

:2 talent of gold

Approximately 75 pounds of gold. One heavy crown!

:3 cut [them] with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes

In the least, this is a difficult verse.

There are several ways of looking at this verse:

1. Some commentators think that there is a mistake in the Hebrew, and instead of wayashar (and he cut), it is wayashem (he put), then carrying the idea of...

NIV: and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes. David did this to all the Ammonite towns...

2. Some have said that as a result of David's sin with Bathsheba, David's life went downhill from there, showing in his cruel treatment of the Ammonites. And indeed, David would have been unrepentant of his sin with Bathsheba at this time (she still would have been pregnant). The problem: The Bible doesn't condemn David for his "cruelty".

3. But others (me included) tend to think it means what it says in the King James and NASB versions, that David slaughtered these prisoners.

We need to not be hasty in our judgment of David on this matter.
Remember the indictments against the Ammonites:
These were the people who had threatened to wipe out Jabesh-Gilead unless the people all gouged out their right eyes. (1Sam.11)
This is also the people who worship Molech, sacrificing their babies to a burning idol.
Leviticus 20:1-5 God condemned the worship of Molech, for any Israelite, or any "from the aliens sojourning in the land".
The penalty: Death.
2Sam.12:26-31 This is the parallel passage with ours. One difference is the additional reference that David also made these people pass through "the brickkiln".
In this light, we see that David was actually giving these people the appropriate punishment for what they were doing to their own children.
It would be as if today all the abortion practitioners were sentenced to death for killing all these babies, to death by being placed in a giant suction chamber and having their limbs torn from them.

:4-8 The giant killers

:4 the children of the giant

Alternate translation: These were the descendants of Rapha. Rapha was the ancestral father of a race of giants, known as Rephaites, who coexisted with the early Philistines and perhaps even intermarried with them (Gen.14:5; Deut.2:11, 20; 3:11; 1Chron.20:4). Also called Rephaims, Anakims, Emims, Zamzummims.

:5 weaver's beam

This spear's shaft was the same size as that of Goliath's (1Sam.17:7).

A weaver's beam suggests a diameter of two to two and a half inches.

:6 whose fingers and toes [were] four and twenty

It is not totally unheard of for a person to be born in this condition, with six fingers on each hand, six toes on each foot.

This guy must have had it easy in grade school, where most kids can count to twenty, he could count to twenty-four!

:8 they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants

There was a time when only a young boy dared to stand against a nine foot giant named Goliath.

Now there are several who are emboldened to do the very same.

We have a hint of discipleship here. David has multiplied himself in his "ministry".

Lesson

Discipleship

When I used to think of discipleship, I used to only think of the process Jesus used with His twelve disciples.
One of the verses in Acts that is a great blessing to me is:
Acts 20:4 And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus.

The thing that excites me so much is to begin to notice who these brothers were who accompanied Paul on his journey. They were men from several of the churches he had been ministering to. Paul didn't just go to a place, start a church, then leave, but he took men with him, to learn, to train, to eventually take leadership.

Aristarchus was with Paul in Ephesus and got caught in the riot there (Acts 19:29), he also was with Paul when he got arrested and sent to Rome (Acts 27:2), he was in jail in Rome with Paul when Paul wrote Colossians and Philemon (Col.4:10; Phlm 24).

Tychicus was a brother who Paul sent to various churches or people to send his greetings and see how the churches were doing (Eph.6:21; Col.4:7; 2Tim.4:12; Tit.3:12).

Timothy accompanied Paul on many journeys, Paul called him his "son" in the faith (1Tim.1:2). He preached with Paul (2Cor.1:19); and Paul sent him on various missions, to help and find out about the churches (1Cor.4:17; Phil.2:19; 1Thess.3:2). He helped Paul write six of his epistles (2Cor.1:1; Phil.1:1; Col.1:1; 1Thess.1:1; 2Thess.1:1; Phm 1:1). Timothy eventually became the pastor in Ephesus, and Paul wrote two letters to him there (1Tim.1:1; 2Tim.1:2).

Many of you here are very mature Christians. Who are you discipling? Who do you allow to get close enough to see you work and walk?
Discipleship means:
1. Relationship

Sibbecai (1Chr.11:29) was one of David’s mighty men, who had gone through a lot with David, living together, fighting together. Jonathan was David’s nephew.

When Jesus taught His disciples, He did it while living with them for three years. Walking, talking, eating, sleeping.

Paul and his merry band traveled the world together, preaching, teaching, surviving shipwrecks, etc.

If you want to get involved in discipling a younger believer, you must develop a relationship with them. You must spend time together.

2. Teaching

Though we don’t have any actual accounts of David sitting down with his men giving them “giant-killing lessons”, the essence of discipleship is in teaching.

How many times do we read about Jesus sitting down and “teaching His disciples”?

Paul wrote...

II Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

One person teaches another who teaches another who teaches...

This is discipleship.

3. Example

2Timothy 3:10 But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance....

The Greek word for conduct is agoge, meaning a leading, a guiding; a way of life.

The Christian life is not just “taught”, it is “caught”.

Paul, in having his men around him, set the pace, setting the example for them to follow.

And who set the example in killing the first giant? David.