First Chronicles 20 Commentary
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, and when David decides to remain in Jerusalem, you guess this is David’s moment of moral failure with Bathsheba. But Chronicles isn’t going to repeat the story we very well know. Instead, the focus is on two important victories.
The first victory is against Ammon. The Ammonites had a very long history of animosity against Israel. During the time of Saul, Nahash had so decimated the units of Israel that the LORD intervened. This was yet another moment when the LORD intervened and Israel was safe once again.
The Philistines were a constant problem for Israel. They ruled over Israel during the days of Samson. They continued to oppress Israel throughout the days of King Saul. In fact, both Samson and Saul died because of Philistine aggression.
We, therefore, receive the news of multiple victories against the Philistines with gladness and peace of heart. The oppressor has been subdued. How the church prays for such times! Let not the story of the Bible be one of the oppressed, by the oppressed, and for the oppressed. These chapters in the middle of Chronicles give us much-deserved relief. The LORD does act when men put their trust in Him, be it little faith.
While these lines show us what faith can achieve, the overriding message is that of the LORD’s generosity. In the background of these victories, we have David misbehaving at the palace. Every saintly triumph is marked by incredible generosity from the throne of grace.
These lines, therefore, celebrate the generosity of the LORD to a hardly deserving people. At the same time, the saint is encouraged by the great achievements of men’s little faith. We too can have it. We too can experience victory in our individual Christian walk.
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