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August 12, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Jeremiah 1-3
Audio: Jeremiah 1-3

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Chronicles 19 (ESV)

Now after this Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me.” So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved them and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away; and they departed. When David was told concerning the men, he sent messengers to meet them, for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “Remain at Jericho until your beards have grown and then return.”

When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 1,000 talents of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Aram-maacah, and from Zobah. They hired 32,000 chariots and the king of Maacah with his army, who came and encamped before Medeba. And the Ammonites were mustered from their cities and came to battle. When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. And the Ammonites came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, and the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country.

10 When Joab saw that the battle was set against him both in front and in the rear, he chose some of the best men of Israel and arrayed them against the Syrians.11 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and they were arrayed against the Ammonites. 12 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will help you. 13 Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.” 14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians for battle, and they fled before him. 15 And when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, Joab’s brother, and entered the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

16 But when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the Euphrates, with Shophach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 And when it was told to David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to them and drew up his forces against them. And when David set the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of 7,000 chariots and 40,000 foot soldiers, and put to death also Shophach the commander of their army. 19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Syrians were not willing to save the Ammonites anymore.

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Next: 1 Chronicles 20

Back: 1 Chronicles 18

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Godly Leadership

    When we think of David, passivity is not a character trait that's near the top of any list. But before God, David was humble. Many times we read of epic battles with David as the victor while he recognized it was God who went before him and ultimately brought victory. 

    As great leaders do, they lead. They don't sit back and watch things happen. They make things happen. They "take the reins" and are willing to step up to the challenges accompanied with leadership. And they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and taking action when others sit back and take the easy way out.

    Godly leaders should lead courageously but never callously.

    Godly leaders need to make the hard decisions necessary to lead God's people but never become hard towards people.

    Godly leaders should always be lead by God and His Word and also carefully consider the input and feedback he will get from those God has put in their lives to encourage, challenge and test them.

    In writing about a "Minister's Self-Watch" in "Lectures to my Students," Charle's Spurgeon writes, "It will be in vain for me to stock my library, or organize societies, or project schemes, if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling; my own spirit, soul and body are my nearest machinery for sacred service."

    Robert Murray M'Cheyne said, "It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God."

    David certainly failed many times but his sin and shortcomings grieved him because he saw them for what they were – an offense to God Himself. Godly leaders must recognize sin for what it is and repent before God. Godly leaders don't sweep sin under the rug but he must deal with them with more vigor and zeal than any other form of spiritual service. This work in the inner man is the first work of any godly leader.

    Unless leaders are fighting (and winning) this battle over sin, their effectiveness to lead others will be hindered and they will begin to rely on their personality, talent and skills. 

    When we read of David's battles in today's chapter, David said, "Be strong, and let us use our strength for our people and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him" in 1 Chronicles 19:13, this statement reflects good leadership.

    Be strong!

    User our strength for our people!

    User our strength for the cities of our God!

    And then he leave it up to the Lord to do what seems good to Him!!

    Leaders don't "let go and let God" as the popular (and umbilical) phrase goes. David didn't do that and those who lead God's people shouldn't either. But what leaders do requires God's approval and blessing – otherwise we're working in our own strength and not God's power. 

    Augustine said, "Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you."

    I think that's sound, biblical advice we should all consider carefully!

  2. Every time I read this chapter of Scripture, I’m warned about “assuming the worst” about someone or their intentions, and then treating them poorly based solely on what I have assumed. The king of the Ammonites assumes David’s gift is a ruse, and sends back a humiliating message, and even worse, it’s public in nature. 

    The humiliation of his servants leads David to declare war, sending a strong message of his own. Interestingly, I’m sure the king of the Ammonites saw this gathering of armies as proof that David’s original intentions were suspect! 

    How different might things have been had the king of the Ammonites sent back a gift of his own to the new king of Israel, and done so in hopes of peace. He didn’t need to trust David to extend an olive branch. Of course, he didn’t need to put down his guard or put himself or his servants in danger.

    He didn’t know yet whether or not he could trust David. But he acted on his assumption…and he acted in such a way that there was no turning back as far as David was concerned. 

    When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7



  3. I'm definitely guilty of assuming the worst in people and sometimes treating them accordingly. I don't trust people, because in the past, I trusted too much, and it always led me to trouble. 

    For some reason, the phrase, "Assume the worst, hope for the best," comes to mind. I think it's something my father used to say. 

    Because I spent so much of my life with people who had nothing to do with God, I got used to the lying, manipulation, deceit, and mistrust, and became a master of those things. Now I can spot it a mile away, and it has made me suspicious of just about everyone. 

    Everyone, that is, except my Christian friends, the ones I am sure I can trust. I trust them because I know they are true followers of Jesus, and they would never lead me astray. 

    I can honestly say there are very few people I feel that way about, and now that I know what comes with being a saved Christian, the difference between them and people who aren't saved is like night and day. 

    I am so grateful my eyes have been opened. 

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