Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't Do Anything Stupid!




Scripture

Now it came about after this, that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon died, and his son became king in his place.
(1 Chronicles 19:1 NASB)
Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the sons of Ammon to Hanun to console him.
(1 Chronicles 19:2 NASB)
But the princes of the sons of Ammon said to Hanun, “Do you think that David is honoring your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?”
(1 Chronicles 19:3 NASB)
So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away.
(1 Chronicles 19:4 NASB)
When the sons of Ammon saw that the Arameans fled, they also fled before Abshai his brother and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.
(1 Chronicles 19:15 NASB)
The Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed of the Arameans 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, and put to death Shophach the commander of the army.
(1 Chronicles 19:18 NASB)
So when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and served him. Thus the Arameans were not willing to help the sons of Ammon anymore.
(1 Chronicles 19:19 NASB)

 

Observation

"Don't Do Anything Stupid" is a phrase that my husband loves. It's just a simple little piece of advice that can help keep us out of trouble. This advice would have been good for the princes of Ammon. David was trying to do the right thing. He had worked well with Hanun, the previous king of Ammon. Hanun had died and so David simply wanted to send a message of condolence. He sent comforters to the new prince, but instead of receiving them -- the prince and his friends did something really stupid. They couldn't accept the kindness of David, and instead they took these men and thoroughly humiliated them. They shaved their beards and cut off their clothing at the waist. People didn't carry around extra sets of clothing back in those days! These men were left humiliated. What a way to say "thanks." It was pretty stupid.

The result of their stupidity was felt by the whole community. They entered into battle with David and lost! Thousands of people lost their lives. All because someone was really stupid!

 

Application


There are times in our lives when we may be tempted to react to a particular situation. The reaction may not be the best for the situation and yet, in our stubbornness we talk ourselves into believing that we are right. Instead of asking ourselves whether we are really doing the right thing, we move forward, to try and prove our point, and refuse to listen to common sense. At that point, we don't want to admit that we might be wrong, so we take action, and the domino effect has begun.

There were any number of times in this scenario that the princes of Ammon could have stopped. They could have talked among themselves and decided that maybe these guys were telling the truth. They could have just been polite and sent them home, even if they didn't believe them. They could have just cut the beards, I suppose....but then they cut off their clothes too. After that, they knew they were in trouble so, instead of asking David for forgiveness, in their stubbornness they lined up the troops and went to war with David. They lost and thousands of people suffered the consequences of the pride and stubbornness of the princes of Ammon.

This story may seem outrageous but I wonder how many times good Christian people do something stupid, and then refuse to say that they are sorry and allow numerous people to suffer the consequences? We must take the time to examine ourselves, and allow Christ's light to shine into the deep corners of our motives. Even if we have done something stupid, we don't have to follow that to its conclusion. We can allow God to speak to us, and in humility, ask for forgiveness. We can go to others and tell them that we were wrong!

I'm afraid that too often, even in the Christian world, we are left with the slaughter of numerous individuals because pride has kept us from resolving a conflict after we've done something stupid. May God help us!

Prayer


Lord, please help me to have a humble attitude and spirit to be willing to say when I have been wrong! Amen.

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