When Hanun picked a fight with David, he definitely bit off more than he could chew. Hanun’s father, Nahash, was king of the Ammonites, and – apparently – he had maintained a cordial relationship with David, who was king of Israel. When Nahash died, Hanun became king… and David sent a delegation to express sympathy for the death of Hanun’s father. But, Hanun chose to interpret David’s gesture as a spy mission – and he threw down the gauntlet by humiliating David’s men and sending them back to him; he shaved their beards, cut their robes, and sent them home (2Sam. 10).
David, of course, prepared for war.
Hanun and his counselors realized they had provoked David’s anger. But, instead of humbly admitting their mistake, they added to it. Hanun made preparations of his own by hiring mercenaries from 3 other countries to the north. But, David’s commander, Joab, proved too capable for Hanun’s trio… and the Ammonites were defeated.
Later, the Ammonites and their allies regrouped, pulling together even more men from other nations – but David and his men defeated them a second time. After that, Hanun’s allies refused to help him.
We sometimes get backed into a corner of our own making… and have to defend something we know to be wrong. That is costly… futile… and wrong!
We sometimes jump to conclusions.
We sometimes respond to others with bias or prejudice.
We sometimes misunderstand others’ good intentions.
When we sin in these ways, God wants us to set aside our pride and seek reconciliation… even when we feel like we are the offended party.
Is there a conflict in your life right now because of misunderstood intentions?
* Don’t let pride keep you from repairing broken relationships.
You can read Hanun’s story in 2Samuel 10 & 1Chronicles 19:1—20:3.