Fake News

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – John 17 – 18Psalms 61 – 65Proverbs 13)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read the “0513 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – “The Place of Sacrifice“; and “Get Busy.

“(2) And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him. (3) 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?” (1 Chronicles 19:2-3)

In our passage today, we read about some “fake news” that initiated a war between Israel and the people of Ammon. Nahash, the king of Ammon who was a friend to David, had died. David wanted to send his condolences to Hanun, the deceased king’s son. David sent some ambassadors into the land of Ammon to pay David’s respects to Hanun. Unfortunately, Hanun’s counselors misinterpreted David’s intentions. They thought David sent the men into Ammon to spy out the land for a future conquest. This simply was not true – it was fake news. The Ammonites humiliated the servants of David and sent them back into Israel, naked and with their beards cut off. This “fake news” originating from some wicked men in Ammon ended up causing a war between Israel and Ammon, which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of men. 

We are living in a day where we are literally bombarded with information, coming at us from every direction and perspective. Unfortunately, much of the news we are receiving is at best slanted, or, at worst, totally false. The catch phrase of the day is “fake news.” The official definition of the term would probably be any news that is not true. In today’s culture, though, “fake news” is probably any information that I don’t agree with or like. We see it on the news channels every day. Social media is also replete with “fake news.” People are duped every day into believing (and reposting) some of the most outrageous claims, without making any attempt to verify whether or not they are true. Some of these lies, or exaggerations, are silly and fairly harmless, but others can be very serious, and cause a great deal of damage.

Thoughts from the Passage 

  1. An Act Motivated by Kindness (vs. 1 – 2)

David’s act was completely out of a pure motive. He was just trying to be kind to Hanun because his dad died. His dad was a friend to David. “A Jewish tradition tells us that Nahash, Hanun’s father, had shown kindness to David by sheltering one of his brothers, when the king of Moab treacherously massacred the rest of the family.”[1]

2. Advice from Misguided Counselors (v. 3)

Hanun listened to bad advice. The Bible says, “in the multitude of counsellors, there is safety” (Proverbs 14:12), but you need to make sure those counselors are godly counselors. 

See 1 Kings 12:1 – 17 – Rehoboam listened to the wrong counselors. 

Be careful about judging things that you cannot see:

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:1-2)

We cannot see people’s motives, and we cannot see inside of people’s hearts. We can only see their actions. There was nothing wrong with the actions of David and his men, but Hanun’s men misjudged their motivations.

Be careful about “imaginations.” 

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Sometimes our minds will tell us things that the facts do not support.

Illustration – I have been blessed by not really listening to all of the voices out there on social media and in the news feeds. I go on Facebook to broadcast our services and prayer meetings, but I haven’t been reading too much of what’s on there. As a result, I am a little less informed as many of you, but I am also a little less stressed out. 

3. Action of a Mistaken King (v. 4)

Because of Hanun’s lack of judgment, he now commits a foolish and antagonistic act.

4. An Aggravating of Matters by the Hiring of Confederates (vs. 5 – 6)

Hunan now makes a further miscalculation by hiring an army of other nations to come help him. 

5. David’s Answer – a Mighty Conquest (vs. 7 – 19)

Up until now, David has not done anything in retaliation, and probably would not have. But, when Hanun builds this army from other nations, David has to do something. 

Conclusion

Hanun listened to some “Fake News” and it resulted in the loss of his kingdom. Be careful that you don’t get caught up in all of the fake news that is going on around you.

Christians, we need to be very careful that we are not “sucked in” to believing all of these unsubstantiated stories that are flying around in the airwaves and on the world-wide web. And, we need to be especially mindful that we do not participate in the furthering of “fake news.” God’s people are supposed to be people of the Truth. If you absolutely feel compelled to share something with others, share the Bible with them. The Word of God is always true. 

Be careful who and what you listen to. Be careful what you say. Don’t be a source of fake news.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)


[1] F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, vol. 2 (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1914–1918), 109.


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Cindy Erickson
Cindy Erickson
1 year ago

This was a great post .

Bob Fenton
Bob Fenton
1 year ago

Love the post Pastor,True words spoken.It was a Blessing.

Gary Geiger
Gary Geiger
4 days ago

Amen

Bob Fenton
Bob Fenton
4 days ago

Amen Pastor.A good reminder. Like the post.

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