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I Chronicles 18

In my Ryrie study bible, this next section is called David's Wars; and that seem to be accurate. Ezra is summarizing David's military exploits after he defeated the Philistines. (I think, but am not sure, that these conquests happen prior to moving the Ark of God, so I think this isn't in order, but by topic.)

Many he defeats become tributes, so he builds wealth instead of just destroying him.

Unfortunately, it also casually mentions that he took horses and chariots from some of the enemies, which, I think he was told not to do by the early laws of the Lord.

I still cannot get my mind around the number of soldiers that died in some of these battles- 22,000 dead in verse 5. The bodies and the economic impact of having that many men in a society dead all at once is tough to get my mind around now. It would be very difficult for a modern country to absorb that...

David set garrisons to manage and collect the tribute.

Verse 6- "And the Lord helped David wherever he went."

Verse 7-8 describes some of the gold and bronze David collect from defeated kings and that Solomon eventually made Bronze instruments to serve the Lord in the Temple. Enough bronze to make a cleansing station for the priests that held 11, 600 gallons of water! (according to a footnote in the Ryrie study bible)

Next, A king named Tou, of Hamath heard David had defeated one of his rivals, so he brought David articles of gold, silver, and bronze.

Next is listed a victory over Edom by David's cousin (Joab's brother) which brought Edom under David's kingdom as a tribute.

The chapter is concluded by a listing of the key leaders: David, Joab, Zadok, etc.

I prayed about what I could take away from this chapter and it came to me that David could be obedient and in God's will in most of his life, and still decide to keep chariots and horses, even though God said that Israel's kings should not do this. He wanted them to rely on Him, not modern weapons of warfare, so that only God would get the glory win the battles were won.

But how tempting it must have been to think, I can keep a few of these, just in case...

We've watched God clean up own lives year after year and there are areas of our lives in which we feel like we more successful in turning over to God; only to find some other area of our lives we've been utterly self-reliant and disobedient.

It is a lifelong journey, where we can get a victory and make a mistake or be defeated and grown in God. We're so blessed that God is so patient and faithful. Amen.

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