Consumed by distrust

“But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, ‘Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honouring your father? Has not David sent his servant to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?” (2 Samuel 10:3.)

I came across this interesting comment by John Calvin on the response of the Ammonites to the kindness (hesed) shown by David to Nahash, the king of the Ammonites.

“Now here we see, above all, what distrust is. That is why it is not good for us to be consumed by a distrustful spirit – like many people who, thinking they are wise, consider everything doubtful and accept nothing without suspicion. We see some who are so wicked that they actually cultivate this distrustful attitude out of ambition and vanity: ‘I must distrust everything and know how to disguise my feelings’. What is the outcome? Their attitude causes wars and quarrels. Well, when we are consumed by this sort of distrust, it is certain that we will start fires to which there will be neither end more measure, and we will not be able to put them out once they have been started. …Hence, let us learn not to be influenced by our own malice to put a bad interpretation on what could be taken as good, and if something is done which we could doubt, still let us not do so.” (Calvin, Sermons, pp 451-52. As quoted in Woodhouse, 2 Samuel, p 613.)

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