Bare bottomed and beardless

Here are my notes from Joel’s excellent preach on 2 Samuel 10:14
  • In chapter 7 God has previously made extraordinary promises to David.
  • Is this your usual way of dealing with man?” he says, or to put it another way “is this now your charter for dealing with the whole of mankind?
  • In chapter 8 David takes ground as King with some great military victories.
  • In chapter 9 David is kind to Mephibosheth son of Jonathan the cripple. Just like David gets to eat at the Lord’s table, Mephibosheth gets to eat at King David’s table.
  • These are the features of our kingdom : victory and kindness
  • In chapter 10 David the Amonite King, who had been kind to David, dies and so David decides to show his kindness to his son Hanun by sending a delegation to express his sympathy. The sons advisors however tell him to shame them and they cut off their beards and “cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks”. Thus shamed they return to David.
  • Joel Virgo

    David looks out for the wellbeing of his servants and gives them time to grow their beards back.

  • (Joel showed a pic of his beard half shaved off and jokes that he grew it to stop people saying he looked like Fabio!)
  • Hanun’s court:
  • Absence of godly fear. Suspicion. Like interpreting an expression of God’s mercy as a move by him to spy and condemn.
  • We need to honour the anointing; where and on who is God’s hand.
  • Jon Owen the greatest theologian in England. John Bunion was illiterate. He had a vision and God may have given him the ability to write or learn quickly.
  • Owen said he would “give all he possessed to preach like that tinker”.
  • Know your place in God. Sober assessment.  Simon Cowell moment. Harness our lust for leadership, power, etc (we crave power like a small boy – Joel’s son asked God to make him powerful. But like Rob Rufus or Genghis Kahn?)
  • When God asks us to do something or gives us promises “Who am I” is the right thing to say.
  • David refers to himself at the end of the life as “David son of Jesse“. Others who own little more than two acres get carried away with their own importance and called themselves King of the Universe.
  • David Pawson during a season of harsh public criticism said that God encouraged him by saying “The worst they can say about you is not as bad as the truth.”
  • David must have thought, how can I be generous to others like God is generous to me, I sit at God’s table, who can sit at mine?
  • In Hanun’s kingdom the advisors are in charge. He doesn’t listen to the remembrance of his father who knew and loved David.
  • David’s kingdom:
  • It’s one of brotherhood and loyalty.
  • As we grow and multiply we must not misread each other. We need to be loyal.
  • When George Muller heard about Hudson Taylor’s persecution, and his appeal to the English authorities for help, he said he did not judge him although he may not have taken that course of action himself.
  • Risks in context of God’s sovereignty.
  • Nelson ran through plans beforehand and then said “to your own boats”. The captains were to keep to plan if they could but had the freedom to be creative and inventive if they couldn’t carry them out or meet the unexpected.
  • A call to courage.
  • When the Americans joined the war Churchill said “we have won”. When Jesus died and rose again, we can declare “we have won”
  • Joab risked his life for his brother. Jesus gave his life.
The main thing I got out of it, or that has stayed with me, is that God’s mercy can and does get misunderstood and rejected. How else could someone think God was an evil dictator, a nasty Big brother type, watching us and taking note of all we do wrong, when actually he reached out to us with his only son to pay, in his blood, for our failing. Those who reach out in love with the gospel sometimes have the bottoms cut out of their trousers, at least figuratively speaking, and feel the burning shame of rejection.

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