2 Samuel 17

Vs. 1-14. This section is divided into 1) Ahithophel's counsel, vs. 1-4, 2) Hushai's counsel, 5-14.

Vs. 1-5, Ahithophel's good counsel.

Ahithophel asked for 12,000 men to peruse David immediately. He planed to overtake David, put fear in the hearts of those with him so they would desert the king and then kill the king only. This action, said Ahithophel, would cause the people to then follow Absalom. He assured Absalom that by doing this, he would be established on the throne with the death of only one man, the king, v. 2.
1) Ahithophel was smart, as the oracle of God. Everything he said was true and it would have worked out just like he said. Ahithophel knew the kind of man David was; he knew that if David had time he would be able to gather the people around him and the rebellion would fail. The action had to be taken very quickly before the people knew what was going on.

2) There would be no civil war because David would not have time to gather his strength.

3) By killing David immediately, Ahithophel would be safe from any retaliation if the rebellion failed. He was as interested in its success as was Absalom. It would almost cause one to wonder if maybe he was not an instigator of Absalom's actions.

4) This tactic has worked as long as there has been an enemy. Fear placed in the hearts of the followers of King Jesus causes them to flee from Him. I have talked to more than one person and asked them why they would not take a stand on the corporation, and their answer was fear of what men would do to them.

The fear of what men might do to us has caused many to flee for safety in compromise.
V. 4, Absalom and the elders who had joined with him, were pleased with the advise. They knew it would work.

Vs. 5-14. Hushai's bad counsel

Absalom said, "Now, wait a minute. Let's see what David's old counselor has to say about this. He knows David well; let's check him out." Apparently, Hushai was not included in the first counsel meeting, vs. 1-4. But Absalom wants to check with him before they take action. Hushai knows what had been said, but he counters it anyway. Hushai was extremely wise.

1) Hushai did not come right out and say that Ahithophel's counsel was not good; he said, at this time, v. 7. He did not go directly against the advise, but he went against it in a manner which did not arouse anger.

We do not have to be blunt and hard headed to make our point. Hushai did not butt heads with Ahithophel, but Hushai won out in the end, which is what counts. The saying is that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Hushai easily caught the rebel Absalom with slick, sticky and sweet words.

2) Hushai gives David more credit than David is probably due. David and his men are wore out, and if he had been set upon like Ahithophel advised, no doubt he would have been defeated. Hushai paints almost a supernatural image of David, and Absalom believes it. The wicked flee when no man persueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion. The wicked man Absalom accepts Hushai's false image of David.

3) v. 10, Hushai tells Absalom that even though he has the strongest and most valiant of Israel with him, there is a chance that some might be killed. He then talks about the chance of a defeat or set back of Absalom's forces which might cause alarm in Israel. Absalom knows that he is in the wrong in his rebellion, so he believes the false counsel. Absalom has no boldness and courage because he has no clear conscience.

4) v. 11, 12, Hushai tells Absalom how he has the heart of all Israel on his side. Furthermore, Hushai tells Absalom that he ability to gather all Israel together.

V. 13, Hushai really waxes eloquent and tells how Absalom's followers are so committed that they will follow him even to pulling down cities.

Hushai knows Absalom's weakness, PRIDE, and he takes full advantage of it with flattery. He lays it on think. The very thing that caused Absalom's rebellion is his undoing.

5) Ahithophel offered an almost bloodless coup, only the king killed. Hushai offers a bloody mess, a great battle in which Absalom will take the lead, v. 12. Absalom loves the thought of a great battle with him in the lead and a great victory to his credit. After all, would he not overthrow the great King David and all his mighty men (v. 8)? This was a very tempting offer for a proud man such as Absalom. Absalom found this offer too good to pass up. His pride caused him to completely overlook reality.

6) Notice that Ziba got what he wanted from David with flattery, and Hushai got what he wanted from Absalom with flattery. So obviously, both the wicked and righteous are open to flattery; it is dangerous. Again, it makes one think they are something when the are not.

Let us not suppose for a moment that our enemy does not know our weakness. If we refuse to face up and admit to that weakness, we will be destroyed just as Absalom was. Absalom destroyed himself by letting his pride be used against him.
Probably one of the most important points of this whole story is found in

V. 14, Absalom and all the men with him loved the idea of a great battle in which they could show their strength. And besides, they could prove that the Lord was truly on their side. So they accepted Hushai's counsel over the good counsel of Ahithophel.

The point is that it was of the Lord that they took the bad counsel.

For us: Again we see the hand of God in everything:
it is of the Lord that we receive good or bad counsel;
it is of the Lord that we accept good or bad counsel.

On the national scene: the Lord could cause the wicked men in authority to take bad counsel to their own destruction just as easy as He can move to cause them to take the good counsel to the destruction of the righteous. In fact, we can rest assured that the Lord is not inactive in national affairs; He is at work in the hearts of all the leaders of all the nations, including Clinton, accomplishing His will and purpose.

Now notice! It is very obvious here that, though Hushai was a great man who knew and used the character of a person to that person's own destruction, all of Hushai's wise words would have been wasted were it not for the hand of God.

In other words, it was not Hushai's way with words, though it was excellent, which swayed Absalom; rather, it was the hand of the Lord. Observe what David's son said in Prov 21:1. Look at this: Neither David nor Hushai could have left the situation totally up to the Lord and not doing what they could.

The excuse we hear today for not getting involved against evil in high places or in sticky issues is that since the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, there is no need to get involved. The Lord will take care of everything without our involvement, so we can go do our thing while He moves in the kings heart.

We are clearly shown here with David and Hushai that the child of God must do all he can against evil every place he finds it. If he leaves the bad situations in the hands of the Lord with no effort on his part to do something, he is guilty of presumption. He must do all he can, then leave the results in the Lord's hands.

We are required by God to be actively involved for Godliness and against evil in every area. Then it is up to the divine providence of God to work it out for His good pleasure.

We are seeing the hand of the Lord all around us in judgment against followers of the King who have refused to get involved and are leaving it all up to the hand of the Lord. The result is that the Absaloms of this world, the ones who have usurped the kingdoms of this world from their rightful King, are in hot successful pursuit against the followers of the King. One day though, the Spirit will work in the hearts of the true followers of King Jesus and they will get some backbone and stand up to Absalom. Then the usurpers of this world will be overthrown and the rightful King restored to His rightful place over all the nations.

November 22, 1992
2 Sam 17:15-23.

We saw last week some very important points:

1) Even though David had trust in the Lord that the Lord would work it all out, he did what he could do: he send Hushi back to wrongly influence Absalom, the rebel.

2) Even though Hushi had a tremendous way with words, the Lord is the one who caused Absalom to believe him.

3) We are clearly shown here with David and Hushai that the child of God must do all he can against evil every place he finds it. If he leaves the bad situations in the hands of the Lord with no effort on his part to do something, he is guilty of presumption. He must do all he can, then leave the results in the Lord's hands.

We are required by God to be actively involved for Godliness and against evil in every area. Then it is up to the divine providence of God to work it out for His good pleasure.

Therefore, to say that the Lord will take care of everything and move in the king's heart without our involvement while we go do our thing, is ungodly; it is totally contrary to the word of God.

2 Sam 17:15-23. David is warned..

Hushai does as David had asked him to do. The two priests, Zadok and Abiathar are waiting outside the city wall for word from Hushai. Hushai secretly sends word to them by way of a woman because he could not take a chance of being seen near to them. The boys get the message and run for David's camp. Even though they had tried to keep the whole situation secret, a lad saw them running toward David. The lad told Absalom that the two boys were headed in David's direction. Absalom knew what they were up to, so he sends men in hot pursuit.

The two priests come to a man's house for shelter. The woman of the house hides the boys in a well, covers it over and then lies to Absalom's men which are in hot pursuit. Their pursuers are sent on a wild-goose chase and the priests continue on with their message to David.

David receives the message and safely escapes that night.

1) Hushai has delivered his counsel, but he knows not if Absalom will follow it. So he prepares for the worse. He sends the advise to David to continue his flight. I think that only a foolish person thinks that there is no need to prepare for the prevalence of evil. Hushai did his best and he leaves it in the hands of the Lord. Then he makes preparation as though Absalom would not listen to him. Obviously, we can hope and work for the best, but we must prepare for the worst. Is not this why we buy insurance?

2) V. 17, the two priests. They made preparation to obey the king, and their preparation involved sacrifice: they remained outside of the city gates, knowing that they would not be permitted to leave. Absalom was wise to the feelings of the priest who had tried to take the ark out with David. The thing that stands out to me about this situation is that these young men made plans to serve King David, and they did it. We will make plans and do what we want to do. Our dedication to those plans will determine our actions. We either determine to be faithful servants of the King or faithful servants of Absalom, the rebel.

3) I think that we overlook the importance of these two faithful messengers who waited to be sent on this erron. Pro 13:17, talks about these messengers. Their faithfulness was life to David.

4) The lad saw them and reported it to the rebel. No matter how well we might try to hide our activities, some one sees them. We are always under someone's watchful eye, either for good or for bad.

5) v. 19, the woman of the house was willing to risk her life for the safety of King David. I am finding out that men who have wives who support them in their efforts for The Son of David against the Absaloms of this world who have usurped authority, are few and far between. In other words, very few wives are willing to risk all for the just cause of the King.

6) the well.. These men hid right under the noses of Absalom's men and were not detected. I think we see here that it is the obvious things which must be watched for.

7) It took very little effort on this woman's part to provide protection for the men. Sometimes it is the little unimportant things in our eyes which make the difference in someone success or failure in the Lord.

8) Another lie, v. 20. This is the second lie which was told in order to protect King David. We have dealt with this quite extensively.

9) V. 22, David wasted no time following Hushai's advice. Some that I know would rather die than take advise. David takes action as though the very worse will come to pass.

10) The account closes with v. 23. Suicide is very rare in Scripture, but here is one. Maybe Ahithophel's (whose name means the brother of a fool) pride caused him to do this; maybe Ahithophel knew that Absalom's cause was lost if Absalom did not take immediate action; he knows that if David is given time to raise an army and the people are permitted to consider what has taken place, Absalom will be finished.

If Absalom is done, then he will be also, so he goes and hangs himself, after he puts his affairs in order. It is strange that after such deliberation, the man would still kill himself. This wicked man is snared in the works of his own hands. Furthermore, he is given an honorable burial in the sepulcher of his father. This situation with Ahithophel is strange indeed.

David's prayer of 15:31 is answered. God answers David's prayer even though he is in the midst of the results of his sin. Notice who the Lord uses to answer David's prayer.... He uses the wicked man himself. The Lord uses who He will when He will His purposes to fulfill. It appears that David wrote Ps 55 at this point.
The next section, vs. 24-29, David escapes and Absalom peruses.

Special note is made in v. 22 that all of those who chose to go with King David are delivered safely; none fell behind due to illness or desertion. Our Lord said of the 11 who were with Him in the end, Of all that thou hast given me have I lost none. David goes to Mahanaim which was a Levitical city on the furthest border from Jerusalem and close to the Ammonite city of Rabbah. Here David will have time to raise his army to take on the rebel. A true friend brings provisions for him and his followers.

V. 24, as Hushi had advised, Absalom now peruses his father with the army which he had gathered together with himself at the head. But, in the meantime, David had escaped to safety in Mahanaim.

V. 25, Absalom made Amasa captain of the hosts. Amasa was the son of Abigail who was the daughter of Nahash (named elsewhere, Jesse), the sister to Zeruiah, Joab's mother. Abigail was a sister to David, as was Amasa's aunt, Zeruiah. In other words, Joab and Amasa were both David's nephews. Even though Absalom is determined to kill his father, he appoints one of David's nephews as the head of his army. The family ties of these orientles are extremely strong.

V. 26, Absalom camps in Gilead ready to do battle with his father.
V. 27, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah.. Back in 10:1, David had attempted to show kindness to Hanun, another son of Nahash. Hanun had treated David's ambassadors with great indignity. Evidently, Shobi had not approved at all of the indignity previously done to David's servants and there had been a continued warm relationship between David and himself. Now he shows great favor to David.

It is important for us to see here that we just do not know when the tables will be turned, so to speak. Therefore, we had best obey the word of God and do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith. We can rest assured that we will reap what we sow, and probably at the worse possible time. Here it was in David's great distress that he reaped a good friend; but it was also in his great distress that he reaped a cursing for his murder of a righteous man.

Machir... 9:4, Mephibosheth had stayed in this man's house until David had taken Meph unto himself; now Machir is supplying David's needs. Obviously, Machir is a very generous man whose gift was helping others in their distress.

Brazillai will be a man we will hear of again when David returns to the throne.

All three of these men were not compelled to supply David's needs; he did not force them in any way. It was out of their love for David and commitment to his government that they volunteered these provisions.


1) V. 28, 29, they provided for him more than a bear subsistence. They brought beds and other things more than the bare necessities of life.

2) Their concern was for others than just David. They were concerned about the well-being of those with him.

The concluding point here in vs. 27-29:

We need to learn to be generous, not only with the King, but with His followers. Of course, the Lord does not expect the same generosity from everyone because not every one has the same amount to be generous with. He does expect though everyone to be generous toward the King, His followers and especially strangers.

for in due season we will reap if we faint not.
Competed, 11/22/92