Friday, July 15, 2016

Reflection - Hunan son of Nahash - Motive Diagnosis

Source Website: https://jeffsteppe.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/motive-diagnosis/
Posted by Jeffsteppe on 8 May 2014


 David wanted to show kindness to Hunan the son of Nahash by offering comforting support during the demise of King Nahash.

PHOTO: David wanted to show kindness to Hunan the son of Nahash by offering comforting support during the demise of King Nahash.
But Hanun was suspiciousand misinterpreted that the city was going to be overthrown by David and his men. He took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle of their buttocks. Beards and bums was an act of intentional humiliation.
Hunan's act killed the kindness of King David resulting in forty-thousand lives lost after David's retaliation.
Picture posted by Sweet Publishing (http://sweetpublishing.com) for the book of 1 Chronicles
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http://distantshores.org/images/rg/13/display/13_1Ch_19_03_RG.jpg
http://distantshores.org/resources/illustrations/sweet-publishing/1-chronicles



We are quick to lay everyone out on the therapy couch of our minds in order to diagnose their motives.  Once diagnosed, we feel fairly confident, with a degree of certainty, that we know the reasons behind someone’s behavior.  Once solidified in our minds it becomes hard to change our minds.  It doesn’t matter what the facts are or what the person reveals to us, when our minds are made up it’s hard to convince us otherwise.  The problem is that it is a sin. A sin that fuels the flames of gossip and twists our perceptions of people’s true character.

King David experienced this first hand during his reign.

Now it happened afterwards that the king of the Ammonites died, and Hunan his son became king in his place. Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hunan the son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.”  (2 Samuel 10:1-2, 1 Chronicles 19:1-2)



King David sent his servants to Hunan the son of Nahash to offer comforting support when King Nahash died.
PHOTO: King David sent his servants to Hunan the son of Nahash to offer comforting support when King Nahash died.
Picture posted by Sweet Publishing (http://sweetpublishing.com) for the book of 1 Chronicles
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http://distantshores.org/images/rg/13/display/13_1Ch_19_01_RG.jpg
http://distantshores.org/resources/illustrations/sweet-publishing/1-chronicles



So, to honor Nahash’s kindness to him, David sent servants to the country of the Ammonites. However, once the servants arrived, the princes of the Ammonites said to Nahash, “Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you?  Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?  (2 Samuel 10:3, 1 Chronicles 19:3)

And there it is. In good faith, David sent his servants, but the princes of the land questioned their presence. They were at the door of the funeral home knowing why these men had come to the viewing and it could not be good. Instead of seeing it as kindness, they saw it as an evil conspiracy.  Conspiracy theories tend to go in that direction.



Once David's servants arrived, the princes of the Ammonites said to Nahash that they saw it as an evil conspiracy under the disguise of kindness.
PHOTO: Once David's servants arrived, the princes of the Ammonites said to Nahash that they saw it as an evil conspiracy under the disguise of kindness.
Picture posted by Sweet Publishing (http://sweetpublishing.com) for the book of 1 Chronicles
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Why were they suspicious? Well, for the same reasons we are. They revealed what was in their own hearts by diagnosing the motives of David’s servants. They said the city was going to be overthrown by David and his men. Could this have already been something that was in their own hearts?  The Bible doesn’t tell us, but knowing human nature it could very well have been.  Perhaps they wanted to control Ammon. Perhaps, they wanted to overthrow the city. Perhaps, the were concerned that the princes would beat them in their own game. The king had just died and Hanun had taken the throne. Transitions of power lend themselves to power grabs from the most unlikely of places.

Listening to the advice of the princes, Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle of their buttocks. Beards and bums was an act of intentional humiliation.  What do you do when there is no basis in reality? You do something to humiliate the person whose motives you’ve diagnosed. Gossip about them. Throw reason out the window. Malign their entire character based on an isolated incident. All of this is a form of self-preservation and self-exaltation. We want to appear better than our “opponent” and in doing so it makes us feel better about ourselves.



Listening to the advice of the princes, Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle of their buttocks.
PHOTO: Listening to the advice of the princes, Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle of their buttocks.
Posted by The Bible History Books on 2 April 2012 in 2 Samuel
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http://www.barbaragriffiths.com/images/bod/griffiths_bod_12.jpg
https://thebiblehistorybooks.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/davids-war-with-the-ammonites-and-syrians/



That’s why it is a sin. We are living as judge and jury of another person’s heart. We are substituting God for self. That is the very essence of sin.  Only God knows a person’s heart. Only Jesus could perceive a person’s intentions. Only the Holy Spirit knows the deep things within a person. Sometimes not even the person himself knows what God knows. Our hearts are deep waters and sometimes deceive us. It’s hard enough to draw the truth out of our own deep wells let alone know what is in another person.



We are substituting God for self.
PHOTO: We are substituting God for self. That is the very essence of sin. Only God knows a person’s heart. Only Jesus could perceive a person’s intentions.  It’s hard enough to draw the truth out of our own deep wells let alone know what is in another person. Hanun is living as judge and jury of another person’s heart.
Picture posted by Corazon Quemado
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The only sure fire cure for this twisted therapy is the cross. If we die to our desires, our own self-preservation, give up our rights, our need to get ahead, be in charge, and look good. If we crucify the flesh and live in the power of Christ we won’t feel the need to diagnose. We let the other person off of the couch and make right judgements based on actions we can see not attitudes we cannot see.  We allow God alone to see the intentions of a person’s heart, starting with our own. In the end, it is the only heart we can truly know.



A word of comfort may get misinterpreted because of suspicions from mistrusts resulting in forty-thousand lives lost and killing the kindness of a king.
PHOTO: A word of comfort may get misinterpreted because of suspicions from mistrusts resulting in forty-thousand lives lost and killing the kindness of a king.

We simply understand it to mean, that people have a hard time trusting in the kindness of others. Maybe it is simply that those people are lacking kindness themselves. So they cannot understand it from others.

We need to gain back the trusts of others in order to stop them being suspicious of us having evil intentions. To achieve this goal we need to be continually kind,  no matter how others behave. Our kindness matters and can be the part to change the world.

"Dear Lord, Encourage me to be kind always. Help me not to become discouraged by unkindness, but rather press on and be kind in the face of it. Give me strength to be the change others need. Amen!"
Texts posted by Lisa on 25 April 2016 - Kindness that counts
Painting by Pieter de Grebber (1600-1652)
Picture posted by FansShare - King David In Prayer

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Posted by Jeffsteppe on 8 May 2014



Reference

[1] Motive Diagnosis, Posted by Jeffsteppe on 8 May 2014, https://jeffsteppe.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/motive-diagnosis/

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