2 Samuel 10: Can you show kindness to your enemies?
Kindness to enemies was modeled by David
Once more David shows grace to his enemies, this time by sending a delegation to express sympathy for Hanun, the king of the Ammonites, on the death of his father. David kindness backfires since Hanun is swayed by the advice of his nobles who think this delegation is for spying. The Ammonites humiliate the delegates by cutting off half their beards and half their garments and then sending them away.
Knowing they have provoked David, the Ammonites prepare for war, even hiring Aramean mercenaries to help them. David sends out Joab and the Israelite army to meet them. Joab finds himself in a difficult position, fighting a two-front war, but he divides his forces between himself and his brother Abishai and relies on the Lord for victory. Israel soon has the Arameans on the run, and the Ammonites retreat to their city.
The Arameans regroup with reinforcements, causing David himself to lead the Israelite army against them. David routs the Arameans; they are afraid to help the Ammonites anymore. But the war with Ammon will continue without David.
How do you show kindness to people you do not like? Jesus said in Matthew 5:46 that if you love only the ones who love you, what reward will you get from your Father in Heaven?
God who forgives, help us to forgive when our kindness is repaid with contempt.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.