1 Chronicles 19: Are We Overly Suspicious?
I think that I am a little bit suspicious by nature. Not necessarily in a malicious way, but I tend to be more cautious than not.
I think that it is healthy to be careful, but when you look at 1 Chronicles 19, you see someone who took his suspicion to a level that ultimately started a war. That obviously is not healthy.
Nahash was the king of the Ammonites, but he passed away and left his throne to his son. David was friends with Nahash, so he sent a few servants over to convey his condolences.
Unfortunately, Hanun thought that these men had to be spies because of the urging of his advisors and that David was being dishonest. He was overly suspicious. He then acted on his idea in a way that insulted the people of Israel.
1Ch 19:3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?
1Ch 19:4 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.
The people of Israel were understandably upset at how their own brethren were treated, and David went to war.
You might say that it was an overreaction on the part of David, and I’m not here to judge that, but this was humiliating for not only the men but the country at the very least. You cannot do that to ambassadors who are supposed to represent a nation.
Being careful is one thing, and I think that we need to be careful of people who might be trying to hurt us. However, while we are being cautious and perhaps even suspicious, we cannot be like Hanun. We should not act on our thoughts in a way that would create unnecessary tension. It is a delicate balance, but in this case it created a war, and we should try to avoid that without a doubt.