We all have battles in life. They could be relationships, illnesses, financial hardships, war, storms, droughts, you name it! The idea is to give it all to God. Today’s chapters in 1 Chronicles show how David was victorious against Israel’s enemies only with the help of God. Let’s dig in…
1 Chronicles 18 – David’s Military Victories
After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath and its surrounding towns. 2 David also conquered the land of Moab, and the Moabites who were spared became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money.
3 David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, as far as Hamath, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. 4 David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 charioteers, and 20,000 foot soldiers. He crippled all the chariot horses except enough for 100 chariots.
5 When Arameans from Damascus arrived to help King Hadadezer, David killed 22,000 of them. 6 Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
7 David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer’s officers to Jerusalem, 8 along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer’s towns of Tebah and Cun. Later Solomon melted the bronze and molded it into the great bronze basin called the Sea, the pillars, and the various bronze articles used at the Temple.
9 When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of King Hadadezer of Zobah, 10 he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of gold, silver, and bronze.
11 King David dedicated all these gifts to the Lord, along with the silver and gold he had taken from the other nations—from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek.
12 Abishai son of Zeruiah destroyed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 13 He placed army garrisons in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s subjects. In fact, the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
14 So David reigned over all Israel and did what was just and right for all his people. 15 Joab son of Zeruiah was commander of the army. Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the royal historian. 16 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests. Seraiah was the court secretary. 17 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was captain of the king’s bodyguard. And David’s sons served as the king’s chief assistants.1 Chronicles 18 NLT
1 Chronicles 19 – David Defeats the Ammonites
Some time after this, King Nahash of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 David said, “I am going to show loyalty to Hanun because his father, Nahash, was always loyal to me.” So David sent messengers to express sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.
But when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land of Ammon, 3 the Ammonite commanders said to Hanun, “Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father? No! David has sent them to spy out the land so they can come in and conquer it!” 4 So Hanun seized David’s ambassadors and shaved them, cut off their robes at the buttocks, and sent them back to David in shame.
5 When David heard what had happened to the men, he sent messengers to tell them, “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, Hanun and the Ammonites sent 75,000 pounds of silver to hire chariots and charioteers from Aram-naharaim, Aram-maacah, and Zobah. 7 They also hired 32,000 chariots and secured the support of the king of Maacah and his army. These forces camped at Medeba, where they were joined by the Ammonite troops that Hanun had recruited from his own towns. 8 When David heard about this, he sent Joab and all his warriors to fight them. 9 The Ammonite troops came out and drew up their battle lines at the entrance of the city, while the other kings positioned themselves to fight in the open fields.
10 When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel’s elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. 11 He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 12 “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will help you. 13 Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.”
14 When Joab and his troops attacked, the Arameans began to run away. 15 And when the Ammonites saw the Arameans running, they also ran from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab returned to Jerusalem.
16 The Arameans now realized that they were no match for Israel, so they sent messengers and summoned additional Aramean troops from the other side of the Euphrates River. These troops were under the command of Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s forces.
17 When David heard what was happening, he mobilized all Israel, crossed the Jordan River, and positioned his troops in battle formation. Then David engaged the Arameans in battle, and they fought against him. 18 But again the Arameans fled from the Israelites. This time David’s forces killed 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers, including Shobach, the commander of their army. 19 When Hadadezer’s allies saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they surrendered to David and became his subjects. After that, the Arameans were no longer willing to help the Ammonites.1 Chronicles 19 NLT
1 Chronicles 20 – David Captures Rabbah
In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, Joab led the Israelite army in successful attacks against the land of the Ammonites. In the process he laid siege to the city of Rabbah, attacking and destroying it. However, David stayed behind in Jerusalem.
2 Then David went to Rabbah and removed the crown from the king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and he found that it weighed seventy-five pounds. David took a vast amount of plunder from the city. 3 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes. That is how David dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.
Battles against Philistine Giants
4 After this, war broke out with the Philistines at Gezer. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, a descendant of the giants and so the Philistines were subdued.
5 During another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath of Gath. The handle of Lahmi’s spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!
6 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 7 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.
8 These Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.1 Chronicles 20 NLT
Notice that David fought battles, but God was with him every step of the way. Also, God’s promise in Chapter 17 emboldened him. He also called on the Lord, “May the Lord’s will be done.” Thus, he was victorious.
Looking at Israel’s history, there were all types of battles. Some were easily won, while others lasted for days. Just go through the Book of Judges and see for yourself. David was getting revenge from all these people who attacked and plundered Israel in the past.
What was the big deal with the shaving of the beards and the cutting of the clothes? It was to shame them. That angered David. He sent his messengers with condolences and the son sends them back shamed. This story is also told in 2 Samuel 8.
Note, too, in Chapter 20, that David stays behind in Jerusalem while his men went to battle. It was the time of year when kings went with their armies to fight. Ezra, the Chronicler, leaves out the sordid details of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. Ezra’s purpose was to encourage the Jews coming back, not to remind them of past sins. Nevertheless, you can read the whole sordid story here. David actually seems sinless in Chronicles. He’s reflecting what Yeshua Hamashiach — Jesus Messiah would be — sinless. Jesus is called “Son of David“.
David’s sinful act led to the moral decline of his family, and eventually the kingdom. It was giving Satan a foothold. You can’t. Sin, like the leaven/yeast it’s compared to, permeates every part of your life, your family’s lives, your work, relationships, you name it. Moreover, it’s like a cancer. It only gets worse and worse.
Interesting, too, that there were more giants. It was David who slew the Philistine’s elite giant, Goliath, who had brothers. Why do you think David picked up more than one stone when he went to fight Goliath?
Give Your Battles to God
In January of this year, I had to start looking for a new place to live. My lease in the tiny studio apartment I lived in was up at the end of April. I qualified for low-income, senior housing. The only problem, as I searched for places, was that most complexes had a 2-year wait list. That wasn’t going to help me! I needed to find a place in less than 4 months! They told me to call each property, that you never know. I started to get anxious. Then I prayed and I gave it all to God. I was about to battle entities and red tape and I knew that I couldn’t handle it all myself.
I started calling properties off some lists. Many phone numbers didn’t work. Some properties were no longer in the low-income program. It was very frustrating. None of the online forms worked. I had to literally go to each property to fill out forms. It was the end of February and I had to give my 60-day notice on March 1. (Didn’t it used to be 30 days?) I started getting anxious again, so I kept praying every day, “Lord, I put this whole house-hunt into your hands. I will bloom wherever you plant me.” I was giving Him full reign — He could plant me wherever He needed me.
Finally, one property I called, the manager told me, “My wait list isn’t that long.” HOPE! As it turned out, she had a unit that no one on her wait list wanted. Why? It was a 2-story townhouse. I saw it, I took it and I just about tripled my living space, in a beautiful townhouse in a historic district, with a washer and dryer in the unit! It’s more than I ever dreamed of. I put my complete trust in God and He delivered.
Let Go and Let God
You’re probably thinking — easier said than done. I say, friend, just do it. It really works. Our battles stem from either our sin or our broken world. Either way, by ourselves there’s no way we can fight the battle without God’s help. Thinking that we can is prideful and pride gets in the way. It holds us back from a true relationship with Jesus.
Paul told us…
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.Ephesians 6:10-13 NLT
Jesus Wins the Final Battle!
We will be fighting against the evil forces of this world until Jesus comes back for us. First, in the Rapture, when Jesus calls all His born-again believers up to Heaven and we are spared the worst of the worst — the Great Tribulation. At Jesus’ 2nd coming, is when He’ll come back to 1. judge the world and 2. deal with Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. He will be victorious in the final Battle of Armageddon. It’s all the Book of Revelation!
The only hope is to put your trust completely in Jesus Christ.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.