David’s emissaries had returned half-bearded and half-naked.
Watch what the sons of Ammon knew…
Now when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob with 12,000 men.
When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men.
The sons of Ammon came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city,
while the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the field.
The sons of Ammon knew that they had become “odious to David”.
- to stink
- an abomination
It was not good for those in Ammon.
So, what did the sons of Ammon do?
They hired mercenaries for protection.
Mercenaries to supplement their forces.
David heard about it.
David sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men.
No mercenaries for David.
The sons of Ammon began to stage a defense.
Wonder what David would do…?
“Half A Beard…”
Sometimes the good deeds we do are not receive.
Sometimes they are thrown back in our face.
Sometimes they are rejected.
Sometimes suspicion, doubt, fear and defensiveness cloud the thoughts of people.
David experienced of such.
Here is what happened…
Now it happened afterwards that the king of the Ammonites died,
and Hanun his son became king in his place.
Then David said,
“I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent some of his servants to console him concerning his father.
But when David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites,
the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord,
“Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you?
Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city,
to spy it out and overthrow it?”
So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away.
When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated.
And the king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return.”
We might give Hanun’s princes a bit of leeway.
They had seen what David had done to his enemies.
They knew of his victories.
They knew that Hanun’s father had shown kindness to David, but, they did not believe that David would truly reciprocate.
So, they convinced Hanun to question David’s motives.
Then Hanun went beyond.
He humiliated the servants of David.
He shaved half their beards.
He cut the bottom half of their garments off.
He sent them back.
The men were greatly humiliated.
They were not sent as soldiers to fight.
They were sent as emissaries to communicate.
They had not been received well.
David sent for them.
David comforted them.
David told them to go to a place, Jericho, and wait.
Await the growing of their beards.
Knowing what we have seen about David to this point, I wonder what his response will be?
Know this, much of what true believers say and do in the Kingdom will be received in like fashion…by the world, yes. By religionists, even more.
David wanted to bless the house of Saul and Jonathan.
What was Mephibosheth’s response?
Again he prostrated himself and said,
“What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”
He was humbled.
Then David restored Mephibosheth’s standing…
2 Sa 9:9-13
Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him,
“All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson.
“You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food;
nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.”
Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
Then Ziba said to the king,
“According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.”
So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons.
Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica.
And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth.
So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly.
Now he was lame in both feet.
All the possessions of Saul and his house was restored to Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth and his household were restored.
He ate at the king’s table.
David fulfilled his covenant promise to Jonathan.
David’s throne was established.
He was continuing in victory over his enemies.
Yet, there was something on David’s mind.
A promise that he had made…
Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul,
that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.”
The king said,
“Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?”
And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.”
So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king,
“Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.”
Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel,
Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!”
David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul;
and you shall eat at my table regularly.”
David desired to show kindness to the house of Saul for Jonathan’s sake.
David had promised Jonathan that when he, David, became king that he would take care of Jonathan’s family.
“You shall not cut off your lovingkindness from my house forever, not even when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.”
David determined to honor his promise.
But, the cost had been heavy.
Were there any remaining of the house of Saul and the house of Jonathan?
There was one.
One that David apparently did not know remained.
Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled. And it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.
David would take care of the house of Jonathan.
Mephibosheth would have the land of his grandfather Saul restored to him - no small thing.
He would eat at the king’s table regularly.
He no longer had to live in fear of reprisal from the throne.
He would be blessed by the throne.
The same occurs with us.
Before salvation we are under condemnation.
After salvation we receive inheritance and feast at the king’s table.
“David Reigned: Justice, Righteousness”
David established his kingdom.
He dealt with his/Israel’s/God’s enemies.
Some enemies he eradicated.
Others became servants.
Read of what he did…
Read of his leadership structure…
So David made a name for himself
when he returned from killing 18,000 Arameans in the Valley of Salt.
He put garrisons in Edom.
In all Edom he put garrisons,
and all the Edomites became servants to David.
And the LORD helped David wherever he went.
So David reigned over all Israel;
and David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.
Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army,
and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder.
Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests,
and Seraiah was secretary.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites;
and David’s sons were chief ministers.
David made a name for himself by his victories.
The Lord helped David wherever he went.
The Lord was with David.
Note what David did.
He administered justice.
He administered righteousness.
For all the people.
Such is a true leader.
Too many today seek to “reign”, for the sake of their own advancement and kingdom.
They do not do so for the sake of all the people, much less for the sake of the Kingdom.
True Believers, remember.
The Lord is with us.
May we have His mind and do as He leads.