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The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets

by Ellen G. White

Chapter 70: The Reign of David

T. of C.  Pref.  Intro.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ...

The Ammonites had been permitted to carry out the evil purposes of their hearts without restraint, that their real character might be revealed to David. It was not God's will that Israel should enter into a league with this treacherous heathen people.

In ancient times, as now, the office of ambassador was held sacred. By the universal law of nations it ensured protection from personal violence or insult. The ambassador standing as a representative of his sovereign, any indignity offered to him demanded [p. 715] prompt retaliation. The Ammonites, knowing that the insult offered to Israel would surely be avenged, made preparation for war. "When the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria-maachah, and out of Zobah. So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots. . . . And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle." 1 Chronicles 19:6, 7.

It was indeed a formidable alliance. The inhabitants of the region lying between the river Euphrates and the Mediterranean Sea had leagued with the Ammonites. The north and east of Canaan was encircled with armed foes, banded together to crush the kingdom of Israel.

The Hebrews did not wait for the invasion of their country. Their forces, under Joab, crossed the Jordan and advanced toward the Ammonite capital. As the Hebrew captain led his army to the field he sought to inspire them for the conflict, saying, "Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in His sight." 1 Chronicles 19:13. The united forces of the allies were overcome in the first engagement. But they were not yet willing to give over the contest, and the next year renewed the war. The king of Syria gathered his forces, threatening Israel with an immense army. David, realizing how much dependent upon the result of this contest, took the field in person, and by the blessing of God inflicted upon the allies a defeat so disastrous that the Syrians, from Lebanon to the Euphrates, not only gave up the war, but became tributary to Israel. Against the Ammonites David pushed the war with vigor, until their strongholds fell and the whole region came under the dominion of Israel.

The dangers which had threatened the nation with utter destruction proved, through the providence of God, to be the very means by which it rose to unprecedented greatness. In commemorating his remarkable deliverances, David sings:

"The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the
        God of my salvation:
Even the God that executeth vengeance for me, and subdueth
        peoples under me. [p. 716]
He rescueth me from mine enemies:
Yea, Thou liftest me up above them that rise up against me:
Thou deliverest me from the violent man.
Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, among the
        nations,
And will sing praises unto Thy name.
Great deliverance giveth He to His king;
And sheweth loving-kindness to His anointed,
To David and to his seed, forevermore."
Psalm 18:46-50, R.V.

And throughout the songs of David the thought was impressed on his people that Jehovah was their strength and deliverer:

"There is no king saved by the multitude of a host:
A mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
A horse is a vain thing for safety:
Neither shall he deliver any by his great strength."

Psalm 33:16, 17.

"Thou art my King, O God:
Command deliverances for Jacob.
Through Thee will we push down our enemies:
Through Thy name will we tread them under that rise up
        against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Neither shall my sword save me.
But Thou hast saved us from our enemies,
And hast put them to shame that hated us."

Psalm 44:4-7.

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
But we will remember the name of Jehovah our God."

Psalm 20:7.

The kingdom of Israel had now reached in extent the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, and afterward repeated to Moses: "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates." Genesis 15:18. Israel had become a mighty nation, respected and feared by surrounding peoples. In his own realm David's power had become very great. He commanded, as few sovereigns in any age have been able to command, the affections and allegiance of his people. He had honored God, and God was now honoring him.

But in the midst of prosperity lurked danger. In the time of his greatest outward triumph David was in the greatest peril, and met his most humiliating defeat.

T. of C.  Pref.  Intro.  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  ...


The above page was found at https://www.TruthOrFables.net/books/patriarchs-and-prophets-70-e.htm on April 20, 2024.

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