Morning Light – July 3rd, 2015
Today: [2 Samuel Chapter Seventeen]: Defeating the Counsel of the Ungodly. The nation of Israel is in civil war. One of the wisest men spoken of in the biblical narrative is counseling Absalom how to destroy David. In the midst of total chaos David has a devoted friend who is willing to risk his life and stand for what is right. When all seems lost the counsel of the ungodly is defeated and the scene is set for the destruction of Absalom. In your life you will have counselors who for all their wisdom will not guide you into the will of God. By following the example of David you will be brought through to safety and victory in your situation.
[2Sa 17:1-29 KJV] 1 Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: 2 And I will come upon him while he [is] weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that [are] with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: 3 And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest [is] as if all returned: [so] all the people shall be in peace. 4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
David has fled the city of Jerusalem and yielded the throne to Absalom. Bathsheba’s grandfather Ahithophel counsels Absalom and requests an army to pursue and destroy David while he is weak and weary. Ahithophel also counseled David as well but for the sake of revenging his family’s honor in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah now seeks David’s life. Ahithophel’s counsel is held in high regard in Israel. The previous chapter says that his words were considered to be as the words of God. He is the wisest man in scripture short of Solomon and Jesus himself yet his heart is corrupted with unforgiveness.
We know what others thought of Ahithophel, but do we have an indication of what he thought of himself? More importantly when he counseled the king what was his true opinion of the king? The counsel you receive is only valuable only to the degree that the person advising you sees you the way God sees you. If your counselor looks at you and has a higher regard for himself than for you then no matter how wise he is you should not listen to him. Many times you will step out in faith and find yourself corrected by your counselors or accountability partners. What if you have more faith than they do and their correction proceeds from unbelief? What if their baseline assumption is that they are more spiritual than you therefore you couldn’t possibly be hearing from God if you are doing something they don’t have faith for? Learn to limit your counselors. Only accept counsel from those you who genuinely have a valid and deep walk with God and who have a proven advocacy of your life.
Ahitophel’s name means “my brother is a fool”. Whatever we know of this man and the regard others had for him – his pride affected how he viewed others. He knew that the gift of wisdom was in his life but there was also pride. His baseline assumption in ever situation was not only that he knew better but that the people he counseled were not as worthy as he was himself. Do you have an Ahitophel in your life? Their friendship can be very addictive – because they pander to the deepest insecurities in your life in order to foster dependence upon them. They cannot afford to be wrong and their highest priority is to be in control. If they feel you are not following their counsel they will by their looks, their body language and their words do everything they can to throw you off course and rob you of your confidence. They will use flattery, condemnation and manipulation all in the guise of wise, God inspired wisdom. You cannot out talk them. You cannot out maneuver them. You can only excise them from your life and move on.
David fear the counsel of Ahithophel and asked his friend Hushai to stay being and counter the guidance given by him to Absalom.
5 Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. 6 And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do [after] his saying? if not; speak thou. 7 And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given [is] not good at this time. 8 For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they [be] mighty men, and they [be] chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father [is] a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some [other] place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 10 And he also [that is] valiant, whose heart [is] as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father [is] a mighty man, and [they] which [be] with him [are] valiant men. 11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that [are] with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom. 15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. 16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that [are] with him.
Hushai is a friend of David. David asks him to feign loyalty to Absalom and to counter the counsel of Absalom. He is successful. He is successful not so much because of his words as his own character. Absalom cannot conceive of deceit from this man. Hushai’s name means “to be passionate and make haste”. Ahitophel lived out of his head but Hushai lived out of his heart. When David fled Jerusalem Hushai without pausing to consider packed his things, gathered his family and came after David. He was a man who led with his heart in all of his decisions. Absalom saw the simplicity in this man preferable to the manipulations of Ahitophel. He instinctively didn’t fully trust Ahitophel because he saw something of his own character in the man. So he determines to follow Hushai’s advice and falls into a trap of his own making.
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David. 18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. 19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where [is] Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find [them], they returned to Jerusalem. 21 And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you. 22 Then David arose, and all the people that [were] with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan. 23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled [his] ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
Ahitophel has such a high opinion of himself that he cannot bear to have his words set at naught. He spent his entire life building a reputation for unimpeachable wisdom. He was adept and keeping everyone around him in a place of insecurity and self doubt whereby he could manipulate and maneuver to build himself up. When people would come to Ahitophel they never knew where they stood with him because Ahitophel didn’t want them to grow and mature but rather to stumble and reel with confusion until his counsel was the only choice that would make sense. Humiliated, disappointed he returns to his house in anger and takes his own life. Suicide is the ultimate rebellion. When the unworthy counselors in your life see that you will not any longer be manipulated by them they will drop you like so much garbage. They will exit your life in some grand gesture making sure that they heap enough disdain and scorn to last a lifetime. Don’t give them a thought. They may be intellectually developed but they are emotionally and spiritually crippled. You will never reform them. Let them go to their own place and keep seeking God.
24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa [was] a man’s son, whose name [was] Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab’s mother. 26 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. 27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched [corn], and beans, and lentiles, and parched [pulse], 29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that [were] with him, to eat: for they said, The people [is] hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
The entire nation of Israel is in chaos and David is on the run. Everyone from Absalom’s most valued counselors to the milk maid that assists the young messenger are getting involved in the affairs of state. No one knows who to trust or who is lying to whom. Who can David rely on? His enemies for one thing. In the midst of this the king of the Ammonites sends supplies of food and tents to David to assist him while he is in hiding. When a man’s ways please the Lord – He will make even his enemies to be at peace with him. In your life you will go through times when you don’t know who to trust or where to turn. It isn’t important that you have all the answers. Absalom counseled with the wisest man of his day and yet will not avoid his own destruction. David maintained non-resistance and humility and even his dire enemies come out and support him.
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