Vs. 4, “So Hanun seized David’s men, shaved them, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away.” When the Ammonite king died, David extended his sympathies to his son. The Ammonites had a bad history with Saul (I Samuel 11), but it seems their relationship with David had been good. Unfortunately, David’s ambassadors of peace were humiliated by the Hanun’s actions (vs. 3-5). Hanun’s actions basically declared war; both the Israelites and Ammonites ready their troops. The Arameans from the north use this as an opportunity to assist the Ammonites and they surrounded Joab’s (David’s commander) army (vs. 6-13). However, the Arameans are overwhelmed and flee to the dismay of the Ammonites (vs. 14-15). For the meantime, the Ammonites are subdued. David himself proceeds to go out into the battle against the Arameans and gains a decisive victory (vs. 17-19).
Regarding application… Safety in Numbers. Vs. 13, “Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight.” Joab was David’s nephew and the commander of David’s army; so we see that courage must have run in that blood. The situation looked dire for the Israelites as both the Ammonites and the Arameans surrounded them. But Joab mustered the troops and reminded them that the LORD will cannot be stopped. Metaphorically, we are surrounded by the enemy on all sides. Our sermon series in the Gospel of Matthew has reminded us that the enemies of the cross followed Jesus to challenge and question Him. What a vivid reminder why it is so important not to isolate ourselves from the church. There is safety in numbers.