每日诗歌: 因著信(粤语) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8E_2KF0uvM)
1 Chronicles 17 [Read]
1 Chronicles 18 [Read]
1 Chronicles 19 [Read]
John 10:1-21 [Read]
Who are Ammonites? I decided to dig out some background about them. Ammonites are the descendants of Ben-Ammi, son of incest between Lot and his younger daughter (Gen 19:38). Their immoral ancestry did not stop God from watching over them. When Israelites were on their way to receive the Promised Land, God told them not to harass or provoke them to war (Deut 2:19). He had already given their land to Lot.
The Ammonites did not seem to appreciate it. During the period of Judges, Ammonites caused trouble for Israel and God raised Jephthah to save Israel from them (Jdg 11). They retreated for a while, but came back during the time of Saul again for further trouble (1Sam 11). That was actually the event which triggered the reaffirming of Saul’s kingship (1Sam 11:15).
In today’s OT reading, Ammonite was causing more problems for David. Apparently, king Nahash was kind to David when he was being pursued by King Saul (1Ch 19:2), and David wanted to return the favor. Nevertheless, his goodwill was taken as means to overthrow the country (19:3). The Ammonites humiliated David’s messengers, and that resulted in a military confrontation which ended in a great victory by David (20:1-3). It was not the end of Ammonites, though. They continued to harass Israel even after their return from Babylonian exile (Neh 4:3).
Although Ammonites were not allowed to be in the assembly of the LORD (Deut 23:3), they were not in the list of people for Israelites to eliminate upon entering the Promised Land either. Amazingly, they actually got into the genealogy of Jesus through Rehoboam (1Ki 14:21). God’s grace never stops to surprise me.
Why didn’t God just destroy Ammonites altogether? I honestly don’t know. It’s God’s grace of course, but I would also think there was a purpose for their existence. “The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Prov 16:4, ESV). Such trouble is meant to build endurance and characters and, in turn, hope (Rom 5:3-4). When a man is totally free from trouble, it may just be the beginning of decline.
Do you have Ammonites around you? You probably do. See them as God’s gifts to build you up as his disciples. You never know. One day, the Ammonites could become your brothers.
Keep on reading,