1 Chronicles 19:3
But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Think you that David does honor your father, that he has sent comforters to you?…
Shown by the counsellors of Hanun. Observe the difficulty men find when they attempt to estimate motives; and the sad tendency of depraved human nature to light upon, and to prefer, the evil motive as the explanation of conduct. These points may be readily illustrated by instances within the experience of every preacher. It may be shown that -
I. THINGS MAY LOOK WELL WITHOUT BEING WELL, and that therefore -
II. THERE IS ALWAYS NEED OF DUE CAUTION LEST WE SHOULD BE DECEIVED. But it should be carefully shown and impressed -
III. THAT THE SUSPICIOUS HABIT OF MIND EASILY FANCIES THERE IS EVIL IN WHAT WAS MEANT WELL. Then it may be shown that the suspicious habit is only a reflection of a man's own conscious untrustworthiness or badness. We suspect in others what we know there would have been in the act if we ourselves had done it. These mean and low-natured counsellors of Hanun measured David by the measure of their own meanness. They would have taken such an opportunity to spy out a neighbour's land; so they felt sure that David had a deceptive and hostile intention. When we do not go this length, we sometimes assume evil by establishing some general principle, by which we force an explanation to everything; without being prepared to allow exceptions in individual cases. The mischief of the suspicious temper in society and in the Church may be fully illustrated; especially its influence in starting jealousy and creating enmity, and separating "very friends." From the incident connected with the verse show how it may even lead to terrible miseries for many. Press that the suspicious temper grows on a man, dwarfing and crushing out the trustfulness which, toned by wisdom, is man's true dignity and blessedness, and the basis of good social relations. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?
WEB: But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, "Do you think that David honors your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Haven't his servants come to you to search, to overthrow, and to spy out the land?"