Tucked away between the Gospel-rich story of David and Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9) and the tragic account of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) lies a clinic on why conversations are necessary (2 Samuel 10). Hanun (the king of the Ammonites) assumed David sent men to spy out his land. Because of this assumption, Hanun embarrassed David’s men (I mean, really. Big time. Read it for yourself here. I told you.). Afterward, David gave his men time to gather themselves. In the meantime, Hanun assumed David was planning revenge. So, based on this assumption, Hanun rounded up troops to fight David’s revenge tactic. When David learned Ammonite armies were planning an attack, David gave the word to execute “Operation Destroy Everybody.” By the time the chapter is over, David’s army had annihilated 40,000+ and forced survivors to be subject to Israel.
Here’s the thing. David never planned to attack Hanun and the Ammonites. David originally sent men to express his sympathies to Hanun, due to the death of his dad. Hanun assumed David’s men were spies. And the text never says David planned to get revenge after the “half-beard, bare butt” ploy. Hanun assumed David was planning revenge. He wasn’t. There was a lot of bloodshed, much death, half-shaven men, and many cheeks flapping in the wind for nothing. Wrong assumptions caused incredible destruction. Had Hanun simply learned the nature of the first visit from David’s men, lives would have been saved and a trip to the store for new undergarments unnecessary.
I would tell you what happens when you assume something. But this is a family blog. You can spell it out if you want to. Go ahead. ASSUME. All Hanun did in this chapter was assume. And all of his assumptions were wrong. If he had one – ONE – conversation, all of this could have been avoided and momma’s wouldn’t have had to shield their children’s eyes from running Israelite men.
I don’t have to spell out for you the implication of this. But I am going to because this is my blog and I can do what I want. Avoiding conversations and acting on assumptions will cause drastically more harm than is necessary. You know it is true. We all do. We have done it to others and they have done it to us. Hopefully our backsides weren’t exposed. But I bet we felt like we had been kicked back there. Often we proceed with our (wrong) assumptions because we don’t want to have a conversation. We trust our gut. We just “know” we are right. We fear what the other person might say or do. We feed our assumptions with people who agree with us. We proceed – having never talked to the other person – and end up being subject to someone or something. And it could have all been avoided.
For the love of all that is good and “bare-able” – Have the Stinkin’ Conversation!!!
What is that thing you are assuming about someone that may or may not be true? What is that conversation you are avoiding? You may be right. But you may be wrong, too. Please have the stinkin’ conversation. Ain’t nobody need to see your . . . .I mean, what happens when assumptions are made.