Summary: A study in the book of 2 Samuel 8: 1 – 18
2 Samuel 8: 1 – 18
Why the flip flop?
8 After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them. And David took Metheg Ammah from the hand of the Philistines. 2 Then he defeated Moab. Forcing them down to the ground, he measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. So, the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought tribute. 3 David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the River Euphrates. 4 David took from him one thousand chariots, seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. Also David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except that he spared enough of them for one hundred chariots. 5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand of the Syrians. 6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought tribute. So the LORD preserved David wherever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 Also from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a large amount of bronze. 9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, 10 then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought with him articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze. 11 King David also dedicated these to the LORD, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued— 12 from Syria, from Moab, from the people of Ammon, from the Philistines, from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt. 14 He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went. 15 So David reigned over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were the priests; Seraiah was the scribe; 18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief ministers.
Today’s title is ‘Why the flip flop?’ Let me tell you up front that I am not talking about a beach shoe. Flip means turn over or cause to turn over with a sudden sharp movement. Flop means total failure. Together the words ‘Flip-flop’ is an expression meaning: to suddenly change one's point of view on an issue due to a total failure of a prior decision.
We learn in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 22 that “David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So, when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So, he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. 3 Then David went from there to Mizpah of Moab; and he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come here with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4 So he brought them before the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.”
We have learned that king Saul was constantly seeking to kill David. After fleeing David was joined by his parents and brothers who were also vulnerable to Saul’s wrath.
The country of Moab was the home of David’s great grandmother, his father’s grandmother, Ruth. It is likely over time that the relatives visited and that there was good will between the families. Additionally, Orpa, Ruth’s sister-in-law, parted with Ruth and Naomi on good terms and her descendants would also know of this family. Further, like Naomi and her husband, many Jewish people left Bethlehem during the famine and traveled to Moab. Not all would have returned after having established lives there, so there was likely a Jewish community in Moab.
Jewish tradition claims that moving his parents to Moab was a huge and painful mistake and that David’s parents and brothers were eventually killed in Moab, which would explain why David as we will read in this chapter aggressively destroyed Moab after his reign over all of Israel was established.