Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

2021.04.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 10

Read 2 Samuel 10

Questions from the Scripture text: Who died in 2 Samuel 10:1? Who reigned in his place? To whom did David propose to show kindness (2 Samuel 10:2)? Like whom? Whom did David send to do what? Who speak to Hanun in 2 Samuel 10:3? What do they suggest is the real reason David has sent servants? What does Hanun do to David’s servants (2 Samuel 10:4)? Why does David send them messengers to meet them along the way (2 Samuel 10:5)? What does he tell them to do? What do the people of Ammon see in 2 Samuel 10:6? How many Syrians do they hire from what places? Who hears about this in 2 Samuel 10:7? Whom does he send? Who come out and array themselves where in 2 Samuel 10:8? And where are the various armies of the Syrians? What does Joab see in 2 Samuel 10:9? Whom does he choose to fight against the Syrians with him? Under whom does he put the rest of the army, against whom (2 Samuel 10:10)? What does he say is the plan, if one of them start to lose (2 Samuel 10:11)? For whom does he say to be courageous and strong (2 Samuel 10:12)? Whom does he suggest will determine the outcome? According to what criteria? What happens between Joab’s select force and the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:13)? What did the people of Ammon see (2 Samuel 10:14)? What did they do? Where did they enter? Where did Joab go? But how do the Syrians now respond to their own defeat (2 Samuel 10:15)? Who is their king, and whom does he summon to where (2 Samuel 10:16)? Whom does David now gather to where (2 Samuel 10:17)? Who initiate the battle? What do the Syrians do in 2 Samuel 10:18? How many charioteers does David kill? How many horsemen? Whom else? Who see what in 2 Samuel 10:19? What do they do about it? What were the Syrians now afraid to do?

Ever since chapter seven, the Holy Spirit has been building David up for us as the prototype of the Messiah. Yahweh has been keeping His promise to establish David and his kingdom (chapter 8). And David has been the loyal, faithful-ḥessed king (chapter 9). Now we have one more chapter of this, before it all comes crashing down in chapters 11–12, which is the beginning of a long line that leaves us desperate for King Jesus.

The covenant-faithful king. David starts chapter 10 very similarly to chapter 9, looking to show steadfast love/faithfulness (ḥessed) to someone (2 Samuel 10:2a). This time, it’s the new Ammonite king whose father may have helped David when he was having his problems with Saul (verse 2b). 

Some commentators devalue what David does by arguing that it was customary, mere formalities. But the passage itself shows that even the formality of kindness isn’t necessarily customary (2 Samuel 10:3-4). Nothing like the behavior of some Ammonites to use as a backdrop to highlight David’s kindness by contrast. King Jesus is faithful in all His commitments, and here is the Lord’s anointed being an imperfect picture of that to us. 

Wouldn’t it be awful if by some grumbling about the present or anxiety about the future, our suspicions about our anointed King’s intentions put us in league with these Ammonite princes?

The spiritually fruitful king. It’s not surprising that Joab and Abishai would be valiant in battle. We are rather astonished, however, to find such good theology on Joab’s lips in 2 Samuel 10:12. Just as in other places we find those under Joseph or Daniel with good theology that they have learned from them, it speaks well of David that when pushed to extremity, Joab falls back on good doctrine. Indeed, Joab will be a surprising, godly voice on several occasions (cf. 2 Samuel 19, 24, etc.).

He knows that their courage and strength exist for the glory of God and the good of God’s people. But he also knows that Yahweh has liberty to do whatever is good in His sight—and that isn’t always the same as what is good in our own sight.

Here in 2 Samuel 10:12 is profound spiritual insight, in an intense crisis, from one whose track record is riddled with sin. And it comes as the fruit of God’s blessing that attends those whom God gathers unto His anointed servant David. How much more so for you, dear Christian, whom God has gathered to His anointed servant, the Christ—Jesus! Though your spiritual history thus far be as cringy as Joab’s, God’s grace upon His Servant promises spiritual fruit for you.

The invincibly successful king. As the Holy Spirit continues to draw this sketch of King Jesus, one of the recurring themes is how invincibly successful David is. We know that the Davidic kingdom eventually falls (even if it’s well after the northern kingdom), so the invincibility of God’s anointed underwhelms us in places like 2 Samuel 10. 

But the point was not lost on “the servants of Hadedezer” in 2 Samuel 10:19. He should have learned his lesson in v13. But after the rest of his allies are routed, he and they all decide that helping Ammon against Yahweh’s anointed is a losing proposition. As with morality, so also with victory—where mere man must ultimately fail, the God-Man must ultimately succeed. Jesus Christ is building His church, and the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it. It is that small stone that grows into a mountain that fills the earth, shattering all of the kingdoms of men(cf. Daniel 2:34–35, Daniel 2:44–45; Psalm 2).

Don’t let that point be lost on you, whether at Helam (cf. 2 Samuel 10:162 Samuel 10:17) in 2 Samuel 10 or in America in 2021. Christ’s kingdom is invincible. No corporate headquarters or legislature or capitol building can withstand the congregations that gather in worship being led from the throne of heaven. 

In what circumstances do you need Jesus’s reliable faithfulness to strengthen you against grumbling? Against what worries do you need Jesus’s reliable faithfulness to encourage you against anxiety? What spiritual discouragements about yourself need the reminder that your King’s leadership is sure to produce spiritual fruit in His people? Against what discouragements in the culture and the church do you need to bring the truth of Christ’s inevitable and invincible victory?

Suggested songs: ARP72B “Nomads Will Bow” or TPH421 “Christ Shall Have Dominion ”


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