Here let us learn, 1. That it is our interest to make those our friends who have the presence of God with them. The king of Hamath, hearing of David’s great success, sent to congratulate him and to court his favour with a noble present, 1 Chron. 18:9, 10. It is in vain to contend with the Son of David. Kiss the Son, therefore, lest he be angry; let the kings and judges of the earth, and all inferior people too, be thus wise, thus instructed. The presents we are to bring him are not vessels of gold and silver, as here (those shall be welcomed to him who have no such presents to bring), but our hearts and sincere affections, our whole selves, we must present to him as living sacrifices. 2. That what God blesses us with we must honour him with. The presents of his friends, as well as the spoils of his enemies, David dedicated unto the Lord (1 Chron. 18:11), that is, he laid them up towards the building and enriching of the temple. That is most truly and most comfortably our own which we have consecrated unto the Lord, and which we use for his glory. Let our merchandise and our hire be holiness to the Lord, Isa. 23:18. 3. That those who take God along with them whithersoever they go may expect to prosper, and be preserved, whithersoever they go. It was said before (1 Chron. 18:6) and here it is repeated (1 Chron. 18:13) that the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. Those are always under the eye of God that have God always in their eye. 4. God gives men power, not that they may look great with it, but that they may do good with it. When David reigned over all Israel he executed judgment and justice among all his people, and so answered the end of his elevation. He was not so intent on his conquests abroad as to neglect the administration of justice at home. Herein he served the purposes of the kingdom of providence, and of that God who sits in the throne judging right; and he was an eminent type of the Messiah, the sceptre of whose kingdom is a right sceptre.
The story is here repeated of David’s war with the Ammonites and the Syrians their allies, and the victories he obtained over them, which we read just as it is here related, 2 Sam. 10:1-19 Here is, I. David’s civility to the king of Ammon, in sending an embassy of condolence to him on occasion of his father’s death, 1 Chron. 19:1, 2. II. His great incivility to David, in the base usage he gave to his ambassadors, 1 Chron. 19:3, 4. III. David’s just resentment of it, and the war which broke out thereupon, in which the Ammonites acted with policy in bringing the Syrians to their assistance (1 Chron. 19:6, 7), Joab did bravely (1 Chron. 19:8-13), and Israel was once and again victorious, 1 Chron. 19:14-19.