So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom. (2 Samuel 17:14)
The Will Of God Cannot Be Changed
After the tragedy of Bathsheba, David suffered rebellion in his own household. God had told David the sword would not depart from his house. David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar. Absalom, brother of Tamar, arranged for the murder of Amnon and then fled to Geshur, where he remained for three years. David would forgive Absalom, but then Absalom rose against his father to take his crown. As the people began to swarm around Absalom, David feared for his life and fled Jerusalem. The people’s hearts had turned to Absalom and his army continually increased in number.
One of the counselors of David was the grandfather of Bathsheba. Ahithophel was an influential man who had political aspirations that readily accepted the invitation of Absalom to be his counselor. After David flees Jerusalem, Absalom seeks the counsel of Ahithophel of what they should do. Ahithophel is very certain disgracing the house of David would turn the hearts of the people toward the son. He tells Absalom to take the concubines of David and have his way with them in the presence of all Israel. A tent is pitched on the top of the house and Absalom goes into David’s concubines and rapes them in the sight of all Israel. Further, Ahithophel tells Absalom to give him 12,000 men to pursue David and he would kill his father and all the people would turn to Absalom. The advice was well received but not acted on.
Absalom calls for another counselor named Hushai to tell them what he advises. Hushai disagrees with the counsel of Ahithophel, telling Absalom that it would be better to gather the whole army of Israel together like the sand by the sea and go after David. That way, the army would completely annihilate the forces of David and Absalom would be king. Absalom and the men of Israel agreed the plan of Hushai was better than that of Ahithophel. What Absalom did not know was that Hushai was protecting David and would warn him before Absalom could carry out his plan. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was rejected, he went home, put his house in order, and hanged himself. David would escape the army of Absalom. Sadly, Absalom would be killed by Joab (against the orders of David), butchered by ten young men who were with Joab.
In the divine scheme of things, the counsel of Ahithophel was not permitted to happen. The advice of Ahithophel was a good plan from human wisdom, but God would not and did not allow Ahithophel’s plan to go forth. David was the anointed one of God. When David found Saul in a cave, he could have killed him, but the servant of the Lord would not kill the anointed of God. David’s reign was protected by the will of God and nothing would change that. Throughout the fall of man, God’s will has been accomplished without human interference.
The world became so corrupt it needed to be destroyed, but eight souls were saved. Abraham and Sarah did not fully understand the will of the Lord when they decided to give Hagar to Abraham to bear a son and the Lord wove the story of Ishmael into the fabric of Jewish history. That was not his plan because the son of promise would be Isaac. The nations that came up against Israel brought great destruction and ruin and it was all done by the hand of God. Cyrus, king of Persia, sent the Hebrew remnant back to Jerusalem by the will of the Lord.
Jesus was born to a young Jewish couple in the city of Bethlehem according to the word of God. Jesus suffered many things from the chief priests, scribes and rulers in Jerusalem and was killed on a cross because nothing was going to change the will of God. The Bible became the complete canon of God’s truth revealed to every nation and will remain until the coming of the Lord – why? That is the will of God and nothing man can do will change that. Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, would later say about the apostles who stood trial for preaching Christ, “If this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it – lest you even be found to fight against God.” Gamaliel’s advice rings true today.