Topic: Facepalm Date: 05/19/2014
Evil Communications Corrupt Good Manners
“Before your arrival the elders of Israel were telling me how your sound counsels saved King David and Israel from disasters. They told me that your judgments and military strategies are always prompt and accurate. None of your counsels has ever failed; that’s an excellent record, Mr. Ahithophel.” Absalom was addressing Ahithophel who sat upright in his seat.
“Thank you so much, Absalom. I thank God for those gifts of wisdom and understanding in my life. May I know why I have been summoned to this meeting?” Ahithophel was not fooled by all those remarks; he knew that Absalom had some issues on his mind to discuss.
“My father, King David, is old and weak. And I believe this nation needs a young and energetic man to lead. Many people and our elders have approached and urged me to take over the power, and be their King. So thinking along that line, I decided to seek for support of these noble men that are seated here with me today.” Absalom paused; he was looking for any sign of approval from Ahithophel. But the other man remained silent.
Absalom summoned courage and continued, “I need your support too, Mr. Ahithophel. There’s nothing to be worried about, majority of the Israelite soldiers are solidly behind us; the presence of Captain Amasa in this meeting confirms that.”
Ahithophel then adjusted his position, sat back on his seat, and thought carefully on the issue for some minutes. “Well, the idea is not so bad. But it’s dangerous. I believe you all know that this is treachery, if anything goes wrong we are all dead men.” He looked at the men seated in Absalom’s living room.
“This is why we decided to bring you onboard.” Absalom was satisfied.
“It’s alright. I would advise you to seek permission from your father, and inform him of your intention of going to the city of Hebron for a sacrifice to fulfill your vow to God. When the permission is granted, let all these elders, Captain Amasa, and some soldiers follow you to Hebron. Getting there, the elders should anoint you as the King of Israel. In accordance with our tradition, trumpets should be blown at Hebron to announce your kingship.” Ahithophel looked around him; the elders of Israel nodded their heads in agreement.
Then he continued, “I’m very sure that when the news reaches your father in Jerusalem, he will abandon the throne for you. He will not like any battle to take place in Jerusalem. His exile paves the way for you to return back to the city and occupy the throne.”
The counsel pleased everybody. The plan was carried out. King David went into exile. Absalom duly occupied the throne.
David and his loyal men were approaching the town of Bahurim when a man from Jerusalem met up with them. “Good day, my lord King. The people in Jerusalem are rejoicing over Absalom as their King. Mr. Ahithophel is also among the conspirators.”
Having heard this, David knelt down and prayed, “O Lord, I pray that the Ahithophel’s counsels will be turned into foolishness. And deliver me from all my enemies. Amen.”
Absalom made necessary changes in the government; and continued to listen to Ahithophel’s counsels.
Absalom slept with his father’s wives publicly to gain people’s support.
Few days later, Absalom sought for Ahithophel’s counsel again, “How can we bring back those people that have gone with King David?”
“If I’m given about twenty thousand soldiers with Captain Amasa, we can pursue and overcome your father and his men tonight before they make crossing over the River Jordan. This takes them by surprise; and being tired, we will easily kill the King, and bring the people back to Jerusalem.” Ahithophel explained joyfully.
“I don’t think Mr. Ahithophel’s counsel is wise this time around.” Hushai, David’s spy and friend, stood up to address the audience.
“King David is a man of war. Taking a few soldiers for battle without proper preparation will be disastrous. I would suggest that we should gather all our soldiers in full strength from Dan to Beer-Sheba, and fall upon David and his men in few days time. This surely brings unbeatable victory.”
Hushai’s counsel seemed more sensible to Absalom and his people. Ahithophel’s counsel was rejected for the first time.
Ahithophel left the meeting ashamed. He went back to his hometown, Giloh, and committed suicide.
Bible text: 2 Samuel 15 – 17.
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