Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 12:26-28 (NIV)
Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”
2 Samuel 12:26-29 (MSG)
Joab, at war in Rabbah against the Ammonites, captured the royal city. He sent messengers to David saying, “I’m fighting at Rabbah, and I’ve just captured the city’s water supply. Hurry and get the rest of the troops together and set up camp here at the city and complete the capture yourself. Otherwise, I’ll capture it and get all the credit instead of you.”
“Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal city. Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; I have even taken the city of waters. So now, assemble the rest of the men, and camp against the city and capture it, or I will take the city myself, and it will be named after me.”-AMPLIFIED
The story transitions once again; away from the death of a child back to the war on the battle-front. Back once again to Joab who was fighting the Ammonites at Rabbah. This was the very place that David should have been, with his men, in the first place. Much time has passed and many things have happened since the fighting had started in the opening verses of chapter 11. (War is a long, tedious, bloody process.)
While David had been home falling to temptation Joab had been out on the battle-front faithfully fighting for him. After a long period of time Joab was finally able to capture the fort and also its water supply. The water supply alone was a great victory; for without water the people of Rabbah would not be able to survive for long.
Joab quickly sent a messenger to David with the news. “So he sent messengers to tell David, “I fought against Rabbah and captured the fortress guarding its water supply. Gather the rest of the troops, surround the city, and capture it. Otherwise, I will capture the city, and it will be named after me.”- 2 Samuel 12:27-28 (GW)
Joab was ready for the final attack, but his desire was for the king to be there to lead it. Why, you may ask? Joab was ever faithful to his king. He desired to honor his king in allowing the final victory to be David’s. Whatever his faults were, Joab’s desire at least was to bring honor to his sovereign.
We then find David going to Rabbah; leading his troops in the final invasion that brought the city to its knees. He fought and he captured it. Once the city was conquered it was time to take the spoils.
First we find: “He took the crown from their king’s head — very heavy with gold, and with a precious stone in it. It ended up on David’s head.” -2 Samuel 12:30 (MSG)
Second we find: “They plundered the city, carrying off a great quantity of loot.” -2 Samuel 12:30 (MSG)
Third we find: “David emptied the city of its people and put them to slave labor using saws, picks, and axes, and making bricks. He did this to all the Ammonite cities.” -2 Samuel 12:31 (MSG)
Eventually we find: “David and the whole army returned to Jerusalem.” -2 Samuel 12:31 (MSG)
Finally David had his priorities right. He was doing what he should have been doing in the first place. Remember where and when he lost his way? “When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.” -2 Samuel 11:1 (MSG)
Let us notice something of relevance here. God was gracious to David, giving him victory over the Ammonites, despite the fact that he had been found guilty of sin. David was indeed guilty. He had neglected his duties as king. He had committed adultery. He had abused his position as king to murder. He had lied, deceived, and used others. Yet, when confronted with his sin he humbly acknowledged it, asked forgiveness and accepted the consequences. God had forgiven David.
The Almighty keeps no record of wrong. Once our sin has been forgiven, it is gone. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”– Ps 103:12 (KJV)
Remember this warning and promise: “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins — make a clean breast of them — he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God — make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.”– 1 John 1:8-10 (MSG)
If you have asked God to forgive you than He has. The question is my friend; have you forgiven yourself?
Forgiven! Thank you, dear Lord. Though my sins were as dark as scarlet, Jesus, you made me white as snow. Hallelujah! You paid the price that I could not pay. How great is the love of the Father; that I could be called a child of God!