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Ahithophel – A Lesson from God

Hi everyone,

I have not been writing much lately, as I am in a major life transition from project manager and Masters student to recreating my life as an author and conference speaker.

Yet, I found myself drawn to the account given to us in the life of king David about one of his trusted counsellors: Ahithophel.

2 Samuel 16:23 Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.

Most of us Bible readers know the story, how David’s son Absalom rebelled and attempted to overthrow his father and assume leadership in the kingdom of Israel.

Much has probably already been said about David’s sin with Bathsheba, and the deep seated bitterness in Absalom over the rape of his sister Tamar by his brother.

The purpose of this writing however, is to simply invite you into my particular point of Gods process. I find myself smack dab in the middle of betrayal that has hurt me and my family, and I am a man of God determined to handle my life carefully Biblically.

It has been said, ‘Pain is a wonderful instructor’ and when it comes to family pain, one must either find death to the offense upon the cross of Jesus, or like a puss filled festering wound, our bitterness and offense slowly drain us of life and strength, and kill us, a slow agonizing death.

I still remember counsel given to my pastor many years ago, when he asked a seasoned minister how to be successful in life and ministry. The older man simply looked him in the eye and said: ‘Billy-Joe, you will make it if you don’t get bitter’.

So, I asked Dr. Google a couple questions, about Ahithophel, and this is what he showed me:

Seems that Ahithophel was Bathsheba’s grandfather, and probably hated David for seducing his granddaughter and having his grandson in law murdered. Gotta admit, that’s valid.

Yet, David was Gods choice for Israels king, and though God hated what David did, He Himself did not kill David.

Dr.Paul Chappel in his excellent article ‘Responding to Offenses’ gives us three possible responses to legitimate offense:
1. Do nothing and let it rot inside of you, poisoning you like a puss filled infected wound would. Causing you to become bitter, cynical, and eventually hateful.
2. Get Even – Take the law into your own hands and execute your wrath against the person that harmed you or your family.
3. Respond Biblically – Dr. Chappell uses the Matt 18 model but a question arises: What if you cannot Go to the person or organization that hurt you?

I’m reminded of words from one of the pastors who helped disciple me when we spoke about the work of the cross in our lives as Christian leaders when he smiled and said: ‘Have a nice death…’

As I reread my own words written many years ago, I find comfort and the same wry smile upon my face:

Sure we can weep and groan out our anguish before God, or we can quietly allow it to work the death of the cross into our character, and discover through every ‘death to self’ experience there comes a corresponding evidence of Gods resurrection power appearing in our lives.

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