Whose Advice Are You Following?
2 Samuel 17:14-22, "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. 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."
Someone once said, "The trouble with good advice is that it interferes with your plans." Have you ever been in a situation where you sought counsel but secretly already had plans for which decision to make? Sometimes we seek advice just to reaffirm our plans, not really caring to follow God's will. This was the nature of Absolom's desire for counsel.
Absalom wanted to kill David to strengthen his falsely taken kingdom. He sought counsel from Ahithophel and was reassured that his plans were right. He then sought counsel from Hushai (who was secretly spying for David) and received counsel to not hunt David. With differing counsel, which direction did Absalom decide? "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."
Absalom didn't realize it, but God had brought along Hushai to overrule the bad counsel of Ahithophel. Absalom still held hateful, vengeful feelings toward his father David, yet through God's working, he decided not to pursue David at that time.
This decision was extremely important in the large scheme of things as evidenced by verse 15-16. Hushai had time to send word to David, warn him of Absalom's intentions, and allow David time to prepare for war. Absalom didn't realize his decision backfired on him, yet as God promises in Proverbs 21:1, He is in control of all: "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
God's plans will always reign supreme, yet Absalom was on the verge of making a huge mistake. God refused to bless his plans to kill David, and God would not have honored his kingdom if he had. When faced differing advice, Absalom stood at a turning point in his life.
We all face times when important decisions need to be made. Perhaps the decision is about a job, where to move to, which church to join, which people to call friends, how to invest your money, and so on. In these times, realize that following ungodly counsel can land you on the wrong life path.
During such times, seek godly counsel, ask yourself concerning the counselor:
Does their life have any spiritual fruit?
Do they seek to encourage or discourage others?
Do they faithfully attend church, and are they serving the Lord?
Is their life a life that you wouldn't mind following their example?
Do they treat others with Christian love?
Following right counsel is an important decision. People do influence us, so don't take counsel lightly, but be sure the counsel you receive is from wise and godly people. Psalm 1:1, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. See the list of questions above.