David Battles with Ammon and Syria

Scripture Passage: 
2 Samuel 10:1-19; 1 Chronicles 19:1-19

INTRODUCTION: This lesson has several important practical lessons for the student. It demonstrates the sin of rewarding evil to someone who has done good to you. This is a recurring theme in the Bible and should be taught: do good to those who have done good to you. Another lesson is found in David’s allowing his servants to tarry at Jerusalem until their beards had grown. We should try to avoid shaming people publicly.

One more lesson can be found in Joab’s response to a very hard battle situation. He encourages Abishai to be of good courage and play the man. We also need to fight the battle of this life with courage and complete trust in the work that the Lord will do for us. See what other lessons you can find in this chapter of the Bible.

  1. HANUN MISTREATS DAVID’S SERVANTS (2 Samuel 10:1-5)
    1. The Death of Nahash, King of Ammon (2 Samuel 10:1; 1 Chronicles 19:1)
      1. Nahash, the king of Ammon, dies.
      2. Hanun, his son, reigns in his stead.
      3. The descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot (Genesis 19:38), who inhabited the country east of the Jordan River and north of Moab
    2. The Servants of David Come to Comfort Hanun (2 Samuel 10:2).
      1. David desires to return the kindness of Nahash. Note: This is likely the same Nahash that was an enemy to Israel in the days of Saul. It is not certain what kindness was showed to David, but it may have occurred in the time in which David was running from Saul.
      2. David sends servants to Hanun to comfort him.
      3. NOTE: David’s motives were totally honorable and pure in this action. This is what made the mistreatment of his servants so evil. They rewarded evil for good (Genesis 44:4; 1 Samuel 25:21; Psalm 35:12; Psalm 109:5; Proverbs 17:13; Jeremiah 18:20).
    3. The Mistreatment of David’s Servants by Hanun (2 Samuel 10:3-4)
      1. The princes of Ammon accuse David of sending spies (2 Samuel 10:3). Note: This accusation was not accomplished with direct statements, but with questions that raised doubts in the heart of Hanun. This is much the same as the Devil works in the hearts of believers today.
      2. Hanun shames the servants of David (2 Samuel 10:4).
        1. He shaves off one half of their beards. Note: Israelite men wore beards (Leviticus 19:27). The fact that they were allowed to tarry in Jericho until their beards could grow back shows it was a shameful thing not to have a beard (Isaiah 15:2). Otherwise, they would have just shaved the other side and come home. We do not have to obey this custom today, but we should not condemn anyone because they have a beard.
        2. He cuts off their garments in the middle.
        3. He sends them away.
    4. The Delay of David’s Servants at Jericho (2 Samuel 10:5)
      1. David’s servants are greatly ashamed.
      2. David sends men to meet them.
      3. David tells them to tarry at Jericho until their beards are grown.
  2. JOAB FIGHTS AMMON AND SYRIA (2 Samuel 10:6-14)
    1. The Ammonites and Syrians Raise an Army (2 Samuel 10:6).
      1. The Ammonites see that they stank before David.
      2. The Ammonites hire the Syrians as allies.
      3. The Syrians send 33,000 men.
    2. The Armies Position Themselves for the Battle (2 Samuel 10:7-8).
      1. David sends Joab and the host of mighty men (2 Samuel 10:7); NOTE: David does not go to battle at this time. This is a practice that will get him in trouble in the next chapter.
      2. The Ammonites take position at the entering in of the gate (2 Samuel 10:8).
      3. The Syrians take position in the field (2 Samuel 10:8).
    3. Joab Splits His Forces to Fight on Two Fronts (2 Samuel 10:9-10).
      1. Joab must fight on two fronts at the same time (2 Samuel 10:9).
      2. Joab takes the choice men of Israel against the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:9).
      3. Abishai takes the remaining army against the Ammonites (2 Samuel 10:10).
    4. Joab Sets His Strategy for the Battle (2 Samuel 10:11).
      1. If Joab falters, Abishai is to help him.
      2. If Abishai falters, Joab is to help him.
      3. NOTE: No provision is made for defeat.
    5. Joab Builds the Courage of Abishai (2 Samuel 10:12).
      1. Be of good courage
      2. Let us play the men (compare 1 Chronicles 19:13 – “behave ourselves valiantly”).
        1. For our people
        2. For the cities of our God
      3. The LORD do that which seemeth him good; in other words, we will leave the results in the hands of the Lord.
    6. Joab and Abishai Win the Battle (2 Samuel 10:13-14).
      1. The Syrians flee before Joab (2 Samuel 10:13).
      2. The Ammonites flee before Abishai (2 Samuel 10:14).
        1. When they see the Syrians flee
        2. They enter into the city.
      3. Joab returns to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 10:14).
  3. DAVID DEFEATS THE SYRIANS (2 Samuel 10:15-19)
    1. The Syrians Regroup for Another Battle (2 Samuel 10:15-16).
      1. The Syrians gather themselves together (2 Samuel 10:15).
      2. The Syrians call in reinforcements (2 Samuel 10:16).
    2. David Gathers an Army against the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:17).
      1. David gathers all Israel together.
      2. David and his army pass over the Jordan.
      3. The Syrians fight against David’s army.
    3. David’s Army Defeats the Syrians (2 Samuel 10:18).
      1. The Syrians flee from before David.
      2. David smites the Syrians.
        1. The men of 700 chariots
        2. 40,000 horsemen
        3. Shobach, the captain of the Syrian army
    4. The Servants of Hadarezer Make Peace with David (2 Samuel 10:19).
      1. The servants of Hadarezer serve David.
      2. The Syrians fear to help Ammon.

CONCLUSION: The kindness of David leads to war. Sometimes bad things happen because we are doing the right things.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 23:27

For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.