1 Chronicles 19 is a rehash of 2 Samuel 10. Nahash has died – he was king of the Ammonites – and son Hanun takes over. David announces that he will deal kindly with the new leader because the history with his dad had been a good one. “I will deal kindly with Hanun the son of Nahash, for his father dealt kindly with me”. Simple cause and effect – you were good to me in the past – so I’ll return the favor in the future. That makes sense and would have went on schedule except for the knuckleheads that got in the middle of it.
The princes of the Ammonites come to Hanun, the new king, and plant seeds of evil in his head. “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land”? These idiots have no clue what they are talking about – but see an opportunity to cause doubt and move up the food chain in the kingdom. If they can get Hanun to listen to them, they gain more stature in the kingdom. So Hanun falls for the bad council and shaves the heads of the guys David had sent over to give his condolences. Bad choice based on bad advice.
Who’s fault is this? Well the immediate response might be to blame the princes. It was their bad advice to doubt why these guys showed up. It was their stupid desire to get personal gain that caused Hanun to go brain dead and insult David and their historical relationship between kingdoms. We have to always consider the past as part of the decision process. Things had been good between the kingdoms. A king dies, some guys show up to express their condolences from the other king who has been friendly (David) for years. But for some reason, because a question was raised – history gets tossed out the window and we move from a good relationship to confrontation.
It doesn’t end well for Hanun. This escalates to a giant battle – tens of thousands of people die and the Ammonites are relegated from a kingdom that was powerful to one that was a servant. Other relationships tumble because it messed up the entire region. How does this happen? Because a guy takes the throne that wasn’t obviously prepared. He listens to advisors he obviously shouldn’t have given his ear. He made choices that were stupid based on history because he ignored the truth of the past. And as a result – people died – the kingdom suffers – and what could have been a great kingdom he led in peace becomes shambles because he screwed up. It all started because he associated with the wrong people. That matters. Who we hang out with is a big deal. Don’t make the mistakes Hanun did!