2 Sam 10:1 “And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2 Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
These men were unarmed and came on a diplomatic mission to honor them.
2 Sam 10:3 “And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
Fake news came to the new king and it got to his head.
2 Sam 10:4-5 “Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.”
These were mighty men who were ambushed and then shamed by shaving half their beards and cutting off part of their tunics.
Then, they had a choice. Would they choose to be offended and retaliate? King David told them to wait until their beards grew back. Don’t retaliate. What we haven’t read yet is how the king took care of business.
The story wasn’t over. It’s always better in the end when Jesus gets involved.
Jesus told us stuff that would happen in our lives and gave us fair warning. He said it was inevitable, ‘You will be offended.’
Luke 17:1 “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”
Somebody will embarrass you and insult you. Offenses will come. Somebody will have fun at your expense.
Satchel Page was an athlete. He was a black baseball player. People would insult him. In an interview, he said, ‘I’m going to work like I don’t need the money. I’m going to love like I’ve never been hurt. I’m going to dance like nobody’s watching.’
In New Zealand, they have birds that don’t fly. They have no natural enemies, so there is no need. Flight is an escape mechanism. There are no cats and no snakes there.
When you are hurt, you fly higher. In order to fly a kite, you’ve got to get it into the wind, against the wind, and pull down on the string. That’s the only way the kite will fly.
Hurt and offenses challenge you to fly high and love like you’ve never loved before. Sometimes, the worst things bring out the best in you.
David counseled his men to not retaliate. He told them to go to Jericho and let them heal awhile. While this was happening, King David went and took care of business. He wanted to show kindness, but instead had to teach the new king a lesson.
We’ve gone through some stuff. What we’ve experienced has not been without loss. We’ve lost dear ones.
Our dear Willie Rosado was on a Zoom call in the hospital and said, ‘It ain’t over.’ He died a couple hours later.
We’ve got to get a ‘This Ain’t Over!’ spirit. The Lord wants you to choose to not fight back and let Him take care of business.
During the lockdown, Pastor decided to accomplish something. He chose to grow a beard. It was easy and lazy.
95% of the people who came to church before the lockdown were healthy. It was a great service. Then, 95% of the people got sick.
Psalm 91 says, ‘no plague will come near you.’ What about COVID-19?
What do you do when every single prayer that you prayed goes unanswered?
Pastor got sick. He prayed and was telling his wife to get remarried if he died. He felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest. Then, the media started writing articles about our church and nasty comments started coming. People said cruel things without actually bothering to find out the truth.
Jesus was asked, ‘How many times should I forgive people that offend me?’ Many already know what Jesus answered, but what do you actually practice in your life? Jesus’ answer wasn’t about numbers, it was about losing all recollection of it.
What do you do when hurt comes your way?
Let go of the lie, ‘You’ve got to forgive and forget.’ God doesn’t forget. He simply doesn’t recall it against you. You can remember it differently and have a different spirit for it. You must understand how to deal with hurt.
People with heart problems sometimes take nitroglycerin. This is used in explosives. It can heal your heart or explode your house.
We’ve got a choice when we’re hurt. Will we allow it to destroy us or we choose to heal?
Sometimes, when people are offended, they build a fence. They build walls to protect themselves but then, they can’t get out and love people or receive others’ love.
Jesus said to love those who hurt you. He said to do good to those who offend you.
If we act like Jesus told us to act, there will be no racism. When stuff comes against you, showing love changes people (others and yourself).
People will do nasty things to you. You have a choice. Do you want to be part of the solution or do you want to hurt people?
1 John 3:18 “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”
Mat 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
In order to be like Jesus, you’ve got to not only act a certain way, you’ve got to also react a certain way.
Jericho means ‘sweet savor’. You go to Jericho for a while and get your healing. Let those offenses go and let God take over. It ain’t over.
Joshua 10 talks about a long battle. They were up all night and pursued the enemy all night. Joshua looked around at his soldiers and said, ‘We’ve got to keep fighting.’ The people were so exhausted, they could hardly go on. God got involved. It started to hail so badly that people were knocked unconscious. The hail was going on and only hitting the enemy. No Israelites were hit. More enemies were killed by hail than by the sword.
Joshua kept fighting. He was a military man and wanted more time to make things right. He got this thing in his spirit. He looked up at the sun and talked to it. He commanded the sun to stand still. It was setting and they couldn’t fight in the dark. Joshua commanded time to stop in order to get this enemy off the map. God heard the prayer and understood what he meant and answered. The sun did not set for an extra amount of time. Joshua fought tired and finished the battle.
Who do you love? Only the people like you?
Our white pastor knelt down and washed two gentlemen’s feet, a 23-year-old black man’s and a Hispanic Chicago cop’s.
This is the middle of the story and there’s heartache and loss, but the end is great! God is not done. It ain’t over!
The solution is to love like we’ve never been hurt. Offense is the agenda of the enemy. Loving people is Jesus’ way. Unifying is Jesus’ way.
Can you love and joyfully serve and wash the feet of somebody who is a homosexual? Jesus loves people whether they love Him back or not.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What really stuck out at you in this sermon?
- How do you react to offenses?
- Read Romans 12:1-3. How are we to present ourselves? How are we transformed? How do we not think more highly of ourselves than we ought?
- How can you better love people who offend you? How will that change and/or bless them?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.