FRIDAY 20TH APRIL, 2018 MORNING PRAYER DEVOTION
SCRIPTURE READING:- 2 SAMUEL15
TOPIC:- AHITHOPHEL WAS AN UNFRIENDLY FRIEND
TEXT:- 2 SAMUEL 16:23
The meaning of Ahithophel in Hebrew is brother of ruin; or folly; or impiety; or brother of foolishness.
Ahithophel was a cherished and esteemed companion of David. They enjoyed a close friendship, not unlike that between David and Jonathan. Psalm 55:12-14 refers to this relationship: “A man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet council together, and walked unto the house of God in company”. David depended upon Ahithophel’s wise counsel, 2 Samuel 16:23.
Ahithophel first comes to our attention just prior to Absalom’s rebellion when he (Ahithophel) left Jerusalem and the palace to return to his home in Giloh, 2 Samuel 15:12.
It had been the long desire of Absalom to replace his father David on the throne of Israel. He harboured anger in his heart that turned to bitterness and hatred against his father after his sister Tamar was raped by their half brother Amnon.
David was angry but failed to deal with the matter. After two years, Absalom took matters into his own hands and murdered Amnon at Baal-hazor, 2 Samuel 13:28-29.
Absalom fled to Geshur (home of his mother’s family) where he remained for three years. David was tricked into receiving him back; but it was a further two years before he would meet with Absalom, 2 Samuel 14.
Absalom was handsome, gifted, and charismatic. His appearance was enhanced by the luxurious growth of his hair. He made full use of his position as prince to charm and win the hearts of the people. When Absalom thought he had adequate support, he declared himself king in Hebron, forcing David to flee from Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 15:10.
Absalom summoned Ahithophel to him from Giloh, and Ahithophel gave support to the cause of Absalom, 2 Samuel 15:12.
Ahithophel advised the immediate pursuit of David which may well have resulted in David’s defeat but Absalom followed the counsel of Hushai the Archite [left by David as his spy in Jerusalem] and waited.
Ahithophel was aware of the impending disaster and we read: “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.” See 2 Samuel 17:23.
The disaster feared by Ahithophel then occurred. The delay enabled David to plan his strategy and muster his army, and when the two armies met in battle on Mount Ephraim, David was victorious.
Absalom, when riding through the forest, was caught by his head in an oak tree and was slain by Joab, one of David’s generals, who was indifferent to David’s plea to “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom,” 2 Samuel 18:5.
God granted him unique blessing and success, but this caused him to think that nothing should be denied him. One sad day he saw and seduced the wife of one of his bravest, most faithful generals and later murdered him in an attempt to hide his sin.
Soon after, Nathan the prophet confronted David and rehearsed before him the parable of the poor man’s “one little ewe lamb”. God knew David’s secret and the rebuke that followed is among the most pointed contained in Scripture.
“Thou art the man”. We know that the man in question was David, but the complete picture is only seen when we learn the true identity of Bathsheba. She was Ahithophel’She was Ahithophel’s darling granddaughter, the “one little ewe lamb” of whom Nathan had spoken.
Ahithophel, understandably, could not remain in David’s court to be constantly reminded of Bathsheba’s shame. He returned to his home village, saw his advice to Absalom ignored, and in his inconsolable grief took his own life.
1. O Lord God, turn the counsel of Ahithophel of my life to foolishness, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. I command the evil plans of my unfriendly friend, be nullified, in the name of Jesus Christ.
3. O Lord God, deliver me from inward and outward enemies, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Have A Beautiful Weekend