The story is here repeated of David's war with the Ammonites and the Syrians their allies, and the victories he obtained over them, which we read just as it is here related, 2 Samuel 10. Here is,
I. David's civility to the king of Ammon, in sending an embassy of condolence to him on occasion of his father's death, #1Ch 19:1,2.
II. His great incivility to David, in the base usage he gave to his ambassadors, #1Ch 19:3,4.
III. David's just resentment of it, and the war which broke out thereupon, in which the Ammonites acted with policy in bringing the Syrians to their assistance, #1Ch 19:6,7, Joab did bravely (#1Ch 18:8-13), and Israel was once and again victorious, #1Ch 19:14-19. (MH)
See my notes in 2 Samuel 10.
The friendly king, Nahash, king of Ammon, died, and his son, Hanun, reigned in his stead. David desired to send messengers of comfort to Hanun, for his father, Nahash, had been a good friend to David. Upon arrival of the messengers, Hanun's counselors advised him that the only reason David sent messengers was to spy out the land. So Hanun mistreated the messengers, and sent them back to David.
Hanun saw that his actions against David's messengers was quite unwise, and had stirred David up against him, so he hired three nations to help him fight David, v. 5. The Lord gave a great victory to Israel, so much so that the Syrians "sued" for peace, and became David's servants.
First, we should not try to judge other's motives, as Hanun did David's. We should pray, and take things at face value until shown differently.
Second, Hanun's advisers got him in a barrel of trouble, as did Rehoboam's after his father, Solomon his died. We need to be very careful to whom we listen.
Third, rather than make amends with David for the dishonour he did to the messengers, he hired others to join with him against David. If he had been smart, he would have made things right before it came to war.
Fourth, others joined with Hanun for the money, and they were greatly humbled before Israel. We need exercise great care concerning who we join with, examine the reasons they are in trouble, and proceed with caution. Of course, these were pagan nations who united with Hanun, so we can expect them to do about anything for the amount of silver they were paid, 1,000 talents of silver, v. 6. (1 talent, 92-125 lbs, depending on who we look at.)
Fifth, vv. 10-13, when Joab saw things going against him, he became firmer in his resolution, did his best, and put it in the Lord's hands. The Lord gave a great victory.
Certainly, our life is not a life of ease, but of may trials and hardships. What to do? Quit? No! Become firmer in our resolution to do the proper thing before the Lord, and leave it in His hands and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.
Sixth, these nations, for the money, meddled in a strife that did not belong to them, and they meddled to their own hurt. It cost them many lives, and their freedom, as they became David's servants.
2 Kings 14:10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?
Proverbs 3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
Proverbs 20:3 ¶ It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
Proverbs 25:8 ¶ Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
Proverbs 26:17 ¶ He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.