Read – 2 Samuel 10
Focus on verse 4
A couple starts to struggle in their relationship. They begin to ask for advice from some of their friends, I can almost guarantee that they will get some bad advice, particularly if they have some friends who are also struggling. They may also get some good advice, but how can they know which is good and which is bad?
In today’s reading, Hanun the new king of the Ammonites makes a foolish decision to listen to the advice of the Ammonite princes.
So Hanun seized David’s men, shaved off half of each man’s beard, cut off their garments in the middle at the buttocks, and sent them away. (v. 4)
In the final analysis it results not only in ruining the good relationship Ammon had with Israel, but drags the Syrians into the mix and when its all over both the Ammonites and the Syrians have huge losses on the battlefield and find themselves subject to the king of Israel. Had Hanun shown respect to the men that David sent in honor of the death of his father, both Ammon and Syria would have been spared huge losses.
So what is the lesson? Don’t heed bad advice. We get bad advice thrown at us every day by way of relentless advertising for products and services that for the most part we don’t need, and in many cases are better off without. How does one learn how to filter fact from fiction when everything looks and sounds so convincing?
Perhaps if we spent more time studying and learning the truth (that we find in God’s word) we may well more readily recognize the bad advice when it comes our way. The idea is not unlike the person who learns to recognize counterfeit money. He does not study the counterfeits, rather, he studies the genuine article, knowing it so completely that he can recognize any counterfeit bill immediately because something about it is NOT like the real bill.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” How do we learn to know the truth? Study the genuine article, study Jesus…study God’s word…ask the Holy Spirit to give understanding and insight…then, as we learn to know Jesus and His truth well, we will have little problem recognizing the world’s counterfeits.