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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 7, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Chronicles 18-21


I Chronicles 19:3

But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?


Some time ago a person sent me a cartoon via text message. It was a picture of an old, wrinkled, lady who looked to live in the country; she had that homespun air about her, I think she was even missing her teeth. The caption read: “Them that’s doin’ the accusin’ are usually them that’s doin’ the doin’.”  How true that statement is. Today there is a good example of this. The princes of Ammon accused David of trickery, treachery, and terrible motives. Yet, they, the Ammonites were well known for this deceit, debauchery, and dealing with underhanded motives. Jeremiah prophesied against them, so did Ezekiel, Amos, and Zephaniah.


The Ammonites were the offspring of Lot’s relationship with his daughter. Ammon, the father of the Ammonites, was the product of that relationship. They were great enemies of Israel for many years. During the time of David however, there was a sort of truce between he, the king of Israel, and Nahash, the king of Ammon. Upon the occasion of Nahash’s death David sent his ambassadors to Hanun (Nahash’s son and new king) to comfort him. The princes however swayed Nahash, to doubt David’s motives. Because of this the new king of the Ammonites mistreated the ambassadors in a humbling and open fashion which caused David to send Joab to deal with the matter militarily, and he did in a victorious fashion.


Back to the point. The princes doubted David’s motives probably because given the same opportunity, that is what they would do. This is a pitfall in the minds of many that must be guarded against. Just because a person given the same opportunity as another would act one way, does not mean the first person will act that way. Consider a workplace scenario. Someone is given some authority which means they could make personnel decisions. If there is a worker in that business that has a bad relationship with the one given this new authority they may think, “They will treat me improperly because we are not on good terms.”  Every decision the new “boss,” so to speak, makes is measured through that lens. Meaning if a decision that is not good for them, is considered to be made out of spite or retribution. Seldom would they consider whether or not the decision is a good one for the overall operation. They only see it through their dislike for the individual in charge, and what they would do in their place.


This type of thing happens all the time. In workplaces, homes, politics, and yes, churches. But it shouldn’t. Sometimes taking things at face value is what is needed. If there are superfluous intentions, that will be manifested soon enough. The princes of Ammon did not take David’s gesture at face value and the results were disastrous. The next time you are tempted to think others would do that which you would do in a given situation, it may be wise to step back and consider the question, “Is this a fair judgment?”  It may save a lot of heartache later.


Dr. William T. Howe

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