Conflict With the Ammonites and the Arameans (2 Samuel 10; 1 Chronicles 19)

Scripture Text:

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2 Samuel 10

1 Chronicles 19

Questions:

1. When traveling to a foreign country through airport security, have you ever been strip searched or held in suspicion? What for? How did that make you feel?

2. How do you feel about beards?

  • they look attractive
  • they feel scratchy
  • they cover up acne
  • they save me the costs of a razor
  • they’re proof of manliness
  • they offset baldness
  • my boss won’t like it
  • they could attract a certain girl
  • I couldn’t grow one if I tried

3. What’s your favorite risk game? Can you put vast fortunes of play money on the line? Are you the “double or nothing” type?

4. What do you know about Nahash (see 1 Samuel 11:1 – 11)? Why might David be struck by an act of kindness from him?

5. What was Hanun trying to prove by stripping and shaving David’s emissaries?

6. How consistent is Joab’s view of God with David’s view of God?

7. What variations do you find between the accounts in 1 Chronicles 19 and 2 Samuel 10? What do you make of them? Which make David look like he took the greater risk and won a greater victory?

8. In what area of your life are you feeling the need for “reinforcements”?

9. Do you feel as though you are being attacked from both sides right now? Who or what are on your left? Your right?

10. What good do you think the Lord might bring out of this conflict?

11. Are you foolishly regrouping (like the Arameans) to fight a lost cause anywhere? What piece of the problem are you clinging to, thus forfeiting God’s peace? How might you “win the war” by “losing the battle”?

12. How confident are you in taking risks? In escalating risky confrontations (like David did), even when you’re in the right?

13. What’s the difference between “stepping out in faith” and “risk-taking”?

14. How can children learn loyalty and trust, so that their parents’ friends can become their genuine friends as well?

Additional Comment:

Humans are so human. Wars start for the oddest reasons. The king of Ammon misjudged the motives of a funeral delegation, and David responded to the insult that today seems more humorous than humiliating. Nevertheless, the resulting war crushed the Ammonites (the descendents of Lot and one of his daughters; Genesis 19).

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