Reading through the Bible together
This chapter is one of the examples of how God knows all events and with His overarching purpose in mind let things happen at the right time. So it was with David and his defeat of a number of enemy nations. Why? David administered justice and righteousness for all his people (v. 15). He defeated Hadadezer (v. 3) and the Syrians who came to help Hadadezer (v. 5). When Toi, the king of Hamath, heard what had happened, he submitted himself to David (vv. 9,10), and the Edomites did the same thing and served David (v. 14).
The issue is not military might but the potential that David had with his relationship with God to bring about the restoration of Israel to reflect the image of God by administering justice and righteousness. In Psalm 85:10 it says, “Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and justice have kissed each other.” A balance of these two qualities is essential for living here and essential for life in heaven.
Another important point should be remembered here. In comparing the writings in the book of Samuel with the writings in the book of Chronicles there are similarities and also different emphasis. Sometimes there are different names because the scribe may have used the person’s second name as in the case of Gideon whom the Canaanites called Jerobaal and in the case of Solomon whom the Phonicians called Jedidah. So when we see one name in Samuel and a different name in Chronicles or Kings, We need to remember that the Holy Spirit did not take hold of the hand of the scribe and push his pen. These scribes and prophets were God’s penmen, not His pens. They wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). Through the Holy Spirit these men were given thoughts which the different writers expressed in different ways, giving emphasis where needed.
Thus is shown God’s condescension. He meets fallen human beings where they are. The Bible, is perfect in its simplicity, but it cannot express all of God’s great thoughts and be perfectly expressed in human language. Let us remember that the Lord has preserved this Holy Book by His own miraculous power in its present shape. (SM Book One, pp. 15, 20-23).
Help us this day, O Lord, that we will handle our affairs with justice and righteousness in relation to your Word and in relation to You. We trust your Word that was transmitted through difficult times and that contain unchanging and unwavering truths. Your infallible Word transmitted to us speaks to us forcefully. Accept our plea, we pray. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea