One thing I have learned about King David is that he was kind. He showed kindness to Jonathan’s son and here he wantaed to show kindness to Hanun who had lost his father, the king of Ammon. David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” He sent by the hand of his servants to comfort the new king concerning his father.
Unfortunately, David’s act of kindness was met with suspicion. Hanun hastened to the princes of the people who inferred that David sent his servants not to comfort the new king but to search the city, spy it out in order to overthrow it. The foolish king believed these men and treated David’s servants abominably. He listened to and followed very bad advice and acted foolishly.
When the Ammonites realized that they had angered David, instead of trying to appease him or make amends by admitting that they had acted foolishly, they hired Aramean foot soldiers and got ready for war. So, things went from bad to worse. Hanun’s father would have been ashamed of his son’s behavior toward the king of Israel who showed him kindness. Hanun should have done the wise and decent thing and admit that he was wrong and try to diffuse the situation–make peace instead of going to war.
Following the wrong advice or not thinking things through can lead to all sorts of problems and in some cases–war.