Paranoia and defensiveness

2 Samuel 10

But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, their master, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.

5 When David heard what had happened, he sent messengers to tell the men, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow out, and then come back.” For they felt deep shame because of their appearance.

6 When the people of Ammon realized how seriously they had angered David, they sent and hired 20,000 Aramean foot soldiers from the lands of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 from the land of Tob. 7 When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them.

I’ll end the quoting here…. but the war goes on for the rest of the chapter… involving more and more people… and eventually making the allies of the original enemy learn not to help them in the future.

All over a bit of paranoia basically… a bit of distrust of the intentions of someone meaning no harm.

I especially am hit with vs 6 and 7…. they realized they made him mad and got on the defense…. which then puts David on the offense. It doesn’t sound like he was planning to attack until after he noticed they had gotten their armies ready for a war….  instead of attempting to make things better with him.

I wonder a bit…. how many people died over this?

And… I’m really really glad I don’t have an army and I’m not a leader. I can only imagine how much worse I could do, both in the lack of trust, and in the defense instead of apology.

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