Read II Samuel 17 -- 18
Ahithophel was far from being the person David had believed him to be. But it often takes a crisis to reveal who our true friends really are. When Ahithophel received an invitation from Absalom to join his conspiracy, he saw that the people increased continually with Absalom (II Samuel 15:12). Since David was old, Ahithophel deserted him and joined Absalom. He revealed his true character five times in his brief proposal to murder David, with the words "me" and "I." Let "me" now choose twelve thousand men, and "I" will arise and pursue after David this night: And "I" will come upon him while he is weary . . . and all the people that are with him will flee; and I will smite (kill) only the king: And I will bring back all the people . . . so all the people shall be in peace (17:1-3). Ahithophel asked Absalom to assign 12,000 men to be placed under his command. Thus, he would make himself the new national hero. At first, the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel (17:4). But afterwards Absalom, Amasa, and the other commanders realized that, at best, they would be in a secondary position to Ahithophel. Furthermore, Ahithophel was not known to be a military leader. David had prayed: Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness (15: 31). David also sent his friend Hushai to join Absalom. Undoubtedly, his coming appealed to Absalom's ego, for he also had gained his father's two top advisors.
Ahithophel assumed that Absalom would accept his plan. But it appears it offended Absalom, as well as the equally proud Amasa, his cousin and military commander. This led them to consider the counsel of Hushai, who reminded Absalom that all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and they who are with him are valiant men (heroes) (17:10).
As Absalom considered the possibility of losing his first battle, he realized that this could produce panic and the loss of his followers' loyalty. Hushai advised Absalom that all the forces of Israel would be gathered and that Absalom should be the commander-in-chief himself, leading his own great army. Absalom would gain added prestige by becoming the conqueror and King of all Israel. In taking command, the prince would lead the way and keep the power in his own hands. Therefore I counsel that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan even to Beer-sheba (17:8-11). This advice appealed to Absalom's pride, and it gave David and his men valuable time to prepare for the battle that ultimately led to Absalom's death. The Bible clearly warns all of us that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). For a few days, the rebellion by all Israel seemed to be successful. But, undoubtedly, Hushai's advice had been guided by the Lord as an answer to David's prayer.
Pity the ignorant who are unaware of the "Unseen Presence" of God who never fails to come to the defense of those who put their trust in Him (Hebrews 4:13; Psalms 40:17).
Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another (Psalms 75:6-7).
Christ Revealed: Through Mahanaim, a city of refuge where David went when he was fleeing from Absalom (II Samuel 17:27). Christ is our refuge (Heb. 6:18).
Word Studies: 17:8 chafed means angered; 17:11 generally means fully; 17:17 wench means maidservant; 17:25 host means army; 18:3 succor means assist by providing reinforcements from the city; 18:9 taken up means left hanging.
BPM Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for Valarie Harper, Statewide Coordinator, Ohio Bible Reading Marathons · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Helen F. Palmer · Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe · Major languages: Danish and Faroese · Religious freedom · 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord in adversity, for He will hear (Psalms 116:1-4,8).
Optional Reading: Acts 18
Memory Verse for the Week: I John 1:9