Food for Friday

Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 2 Samuel 10:2

Talk about trouble, this world is full of catastrophes, disasters, and calamities. People are suffering and dying all around us and all around the world. Hatred and bloodshed have never been at a higher level. And as the confusion, disillusionment, and discouragement sweeps across the human race, people are wondering why there is so much trouble and pain. But what can they expect, when they spit in the face of God’s kindness and mercy, just as Hanun, the young king of Ammon, did to David?

David’s intentions toward Hanun were nothing but gracious. He sincerely desired to offer comfort to the young king on the death of his father. But if we follow the story beyond today’s text, we find Hanun harkening to those who were suspicious of David’s motives, and he shamefully mistreated David’s emmisaries. He never stopped to think about the mighty force of Israel’s military or the brilliance of David’s generals as he openly insulted the most powerful nation in that part of the world. How like Hunan are the people around us, foolishly defying the God who offers them peace and mercy, taking His name in vain at every opportunity, and ignoring His claims upon them. David was justified in his punishing response to Hunan’s defiance. Is not God also justified when he allows men’s foolish actions to bring upon themselves the fruit of their own actions?

As Christians, we know of God’s kind intentions toward us, and we have responded favourably to that kindness. We have realized that His kindness is in spite of our rebellion and waywardness. We have recognized our need of Him and have accepted the salvation that He purchased for us in drops of His Own Son’s precious blood. We also accept that He Who extends forgiveness to a sinning world cannot clear the guilty if they will not take His forgiveness.

What is our response as we see the world’s travail and trouble, even as some of that trouble touches our own lives? Firstly, we must always recognizes and appreciate God’s kindness and goodness, and thank Him that our deliverance will be eternal. Secondly, we must reach out to others, urging them to cease their foolish opposition to an all-powerful God, and pleading with them to accept His gracious kindness and the gift of His salvation. – Jim MacIntosh

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