SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- David has become king of Israel and he is going out on military conquests against Israel's enemies.
- David received gifts from King Toi and dedicated them to God (18:7-11).
- The nation of Ammon (19:1) bordered Israel to the east. It was founded by Benammi, who was conceived through incest Lot's daughter forced on him (see Genesis 19:30-38). The Ammonites were the constant enemy of Israel. Here, David tries to reach out in kindness, but Ammon's leader, Hanun, misreads his intentions (see 19:1-4).
- When David received gifts from King Toi he assumed they were from God and should be given to God. Typically, when we receive some kind of financial blessing we assume it's because we earned it (or got lucky) and that it's for us to use on us. To recognize God's goodness and to live lives of worship, we need to adopt David's thinking as our own.
- Hanun assumed the worst about David, probably because of his past experience with the nation of Israel. Sometimes we presume the worst about others, assuming they have bad intentions, possibly because of past experiences. Assuming the worst was a bad move for Hanun, and for us as well.
- What has God given you? To you view what you have, and receive, as God's blessings, or as something you have earned and deserve? Do you keep and spend everything you bring in on yourself? Or do you dedicate it to God and use it as He would have you? Do you give the first part (the Bible says ten percent is a great starting point for our finances) back to God, and look for ways to be generous with your finances and your stuff with people in need? How can you take a step int that direction?
- If you find that you sometimes assume the worst, ask God to help you to see the best in other people.