Tonight we're continuing the story with Absalom having rebelled against his father David, and David has fled Jerusalem, and Absalom has come into Jerusalem and taken over, he's committed this horrible act of lying with his father's 10 concubines in the sight of all Israel and done all these things, and if you remember, at the very end of chapter 16 it said in verse 23, "And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom."
In verse number 1 of chapter 17 the Bible reads, "Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, 'Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night, and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid, and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only, and I will bring back all the people unto thee, the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned, so all the people shall be in peace.' And the saying pleased Absalom well and all the elders of Israel. Then said Absalom, 'Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.' And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, 'Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not; speak thou.' And Hushai said unto Absalom, 'The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time.'"
Now of course we know from the last chapter that Hushai the Archite is one who is still loyal unto David. He had left the city with David, but David told him that he would be more helpful to him if he would basically infiltrate with Absalom and his court and if he would give bad advice unto Absalom to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel in order to save David and then also to be a spy that would send the message to David of what was really going on. Ahithophel gives a plan that's actually a good plan, a plan that's actually going to work but Hushai is there, David's mole on the inside that basically says, "Oh you know, that's not good advice," and comes up with this better plan which is actually not as good of a plan.
Let's talk about these two different plans. First of all Ahithophel's plan is a smart plan because David has just fled Jerusalem with all of his men, they've crossed the Kidron and so Ahithophel is saying, "Let's just get 12,000 great troops and do kind of a blitzkrieg. Just get him before he has a chance to regroup and get organized, get him while he's weary and tired and before he has a chance to make any kind of a strategy, just quickly come onto him and just assault him and we can just defeat him right away." They said, "Look we'll just smite the king only because they won't even be organized. We'll just go in there, kill the king and be done with it." Hushai says "The counsel of Ahithophel's not good at this time," but really it's that he's there to subvert the situation. Now, if the whole plan that Hushai has is to send messengers to David to tell him what's going on, that's not really going to work if Ahithophel is just going to go right in there with 12,000 guys and just go in there and kill David.
He's buying time. He wants to have a plan that takes longer to enact so that he can have time to send the message to David and so forth. Look what the bible says in verse 8. " For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom." He's painting this picture of David that he's just out there putting on the warpaint, he's in some pad, he's go his weapons, and there's no way they're going to find him, everybody's hiding, everybody's a great warrior, and so he paints this picture that you're not just going to go in there with 12,000 guys and just kill David, catch him unawares, not going to happen.
Here's what he says. "Therefore I counsel," verse 11, "that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground." That poetry mixed in just to make it sound like a better plan. "And of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. 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."
Let me explain to you what's going on here. Obviously, to call together all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba, that's going to take a bunch of time. This is not a situation where they could just pick up the phone and call Dan and they're all going to hop upon a train or something. This is going to take time to go throughout the land. Dan to Beersheba is about 144 miles, so it's a big distance there to cover to tell everybody and gather everybody. Now Hushai's mentality here though, he's saying "Let's get everybody involved. That way, everybody gets there hands dirty and that way, nobody can back out." That's what Hushai is saying, but what he's really doing is he's just trying to buy time because he's going to send a message to David of exactly what the plans are so that David can have time to prepare the battle and get everything ready and be able to organize a defense and to know exactly where the attack's coming from.
The way he's pitching it to them is that "Well, here's the thing. If we follow Ahithophel's plan, let's say those 12,000 guys go in there and let's say they lose, let's say they get defeated, let's say some of them get killed. Well then, there's going to be a rumor that's going to go around saying 'Oh, there's a slaughter with those that follow Absalom' and then everybody who goes like this to see which way the wind's blowing is basically going to say 'Well, looks like Absalom might be the losing side, maybe we should just stick with David,' so it cause s them to not have as much resolve." Remember, Ahithophel had already done something to solidify the people's resolve. Remember that's what he said in the last chapter. He said "If you lie with these concubines, then everybody's going to know there's no going back," but basically, Hushai's saying "No, let's gather everybody because if everybody is going after David, then basically nobody can really turn back because they're all part of it, they're all guilty."
Now this is a mentality of when someone's in sin, they want to bring other people into their sin too so that they're not the only one who's guilty. It's funny, I remember when I was a kid in school, I shouldn't have done this, but when I was a kid in school, you get to the class and the teacher wouldn't be there sometimes. You know when you get there at 8 o'clock and are supposed to start and the teacher's not there, and so you were supposed to sit in your seat, wait for the teacher to show up, but what did you want to do though? Let's go hit the playground and just be at the playground. I remember wanting to go to the playground and trying to get other kids to go to the playground too.
I remember one time, I stood up on the chair and made a speech to all of the kids and I said "Look, they can't punish us all. If just the 3 of us go to the playground, we're going to get in trouble, but if the whole class is at the playground, what are they going to do, punish the entire class?" Then it'll just seem like it was the logical thing to do because we all did it whereas if it's just a couple of us, they're like "Oh, these bad kids ... " So I got the whole class to go to the playground and then the teacher showed up, "What are you guys doing? Why are you at the playground playing?" We're just like "We thought that's what you do if the teacher's not there. We're just on recess," but that's the thing, if you can get other people, and honestly, I knew somebody, I asked him "How did you start smoking?" Here's what they say, "My sister started smoking and she made me start too so that I wouldn't tell on her because if I didn't smoke, then basically I could use that as a tattling thing."
I remember when we were kids, it was always "I've got something on you," we tell to our brothers and sisters, "I got something on you. You better watch it." Blackmailing our siblings, isn't that wonderful? That's just so typical of human nature. What did Eve do when she took of the forbidden fruit? What's the first thing she does? "Hey, Adam. Come on over here and you eat this too," because she doesn't want to face God alone so she wants someone else to partake of her sin, and you need to be aware of this because this is a, and that's what's symbolized here, there is a tendency that when people are in sin, they want to get you into their sin to make themselves feel better about themselves and so that they don't feel like they're just alone in their condemnation and that they're just all by themselves.
No, they want to get other people involved too, all the way back to Adam and Eve, and "Hey, you need to start smoking too. That way, you won't tattle on me, and that way you won't judge me because you're doing the same thing." You know what I've noticed too, and this is wicked, I've noticed that people who are divorced, it's like they secretly want their kids to get divorced. It's true. I'm not saying everybody obviously, but I've seen it where people are counseling their daughters and sons, they're divorced, and then they're telling them "Oh yeah, you need to leave him" or "You need to leave here ... " It's almost like they want their kids to follow in their same footsteps. Now look, I want my kids to follow on my footsteps concerning that which is right, but if I mistakes or commit sin or do a bad thing, I don't want them to be just like me. You want them to learn from your mistakes and not do those things, and if you've been divorced, you should do everything you can to counsel your children not to get divorced.
You've made that mistake, but you shouldn't want other people to make the same mistake, but yet I've seen it. I've seen parents that were like that and it's wicked to just wish other people to do the same things that you've done just to partake of your sin. Brothers and sisters will get their siblings in on the sin just like I did, right? "Hey, let's all go to the playground. They can't punish us all." Brothers and sisters, schoolmates, whatever. We need to be careful that number 1, when we commit sin, that we don't try to get other people to do it too, and number 2, we need to make sure that we don't let other people drag us into their sins and we need to be able to recognize this and say "Wait a minute. You're counseling me against my wife or against my husband?" "Wait a minute. You're divorced and now you're telling me to divorce my husband?"
We need to be able to see this coming and understand that sometimes when people are giving us advice, it's not the right advice, but that their just trying to involve us in their sins or they'll try to condone of things that we know are wrong. "Oh, it's fine." It's because they're doing it, that's why they're telling that it's fine. They want to get you involved in the same sin to make them self feel better. He's saying "Let's all do it. Let's get everybody involved," and of course, he's just playing games. He's acting here, but it's symbolic of that, but that's why they said vice resonates because keep in mind, even though Hushai's playing games, why is it that all of the men of Israel are like "Oh yeah, that's a great idea. Yeah, your counsel's better than Ahithophel's." Why? Because they want to get everybody involved in the sin, because think about it, isn't it a sin to go kill an innocent man? What has David done to these people to deserve to be killed?
Just by existing. Just because they want to dethrone him and put Absalom on the throne, because he stole the hearts of the men of Israel. Now all of a sudden, David's their enemy for no good reason even though David has done nothing but good to them, so that's a wicked sin and whenever Hushai gets up and makes this bad advice, it resonates with them because they're thinking themselves "Yeah, we want to get other people involved in our sin. Let's get everybody involved, everybody's got their hands dirty and we're all in this together. It'll solidify the resolve of the people." They go with that advice and they say "Yeah, it's better than Ahithophel's advice," and they say "We're going to go kill him, we're going to tear down whatever city he's in, we'll drag every last stone of it and throw it into the river," what are these people doing? This is where rebellion can lead you when you rebel against God's legitimate authority.
Look, a lot of times because we believe in libertarian, political principles in the sense that we believe that our government should be similar to the government that God ordained which is an extremely minimal government, and we don't believe in this big, overarching, powerful government that dictates every aspect of our lives and taxes us to death and this globalism and internationalism in one world-ism of bringing us all under the yolk of the United Nations instead of just being under our own government here in the United States, instead it's becoming just kind of a branch of this world government and so forth. Just because we believe that though, a lot of times, people, they get so excited about being for freedom and liberty and against the big out of control government that then they just start rebelling against legitimate authority in their lives, and you know what? That's where you're going too far and that's where you're in violation of scripture because the bible does teach that we do have legitimate authorities in our lives.
First of all, the government does have some legitimate authority over us when it comes to punishing things like stealing and assaulting innocent people. There are things that God lays out where the government should be able, but some people, they throw out the baby with the bath water. There are people who think that the government should have nothing to do with marriage or divorce or adultery or anything but yet that's one of the things that God did give the government authority in, but it's just they get so zealous of it, they stop listening to the bible and just start getting real zealous of being a libertarian. Great. You know what, be a libertarian if that's what you want to call because the bible says where the spirit of the lord is there is liberty. You better be following the bible. I've articulated things from the bible and people say "You're not a true libertarian then." Fine. So what? I'm a baptist. I'm a Christian.
I'm a true libertarian because where the spirit of the lord is, there is liberty and the true believers in liberty. These stupid bunch of anarchists who call them self ... "We're the true libertarian, the anarcho capitalist blah, blah." Their stupid anarchic utopia will never exist, it cannot exist, and it leads to communism and it leads to totalitarian government every time because when you have that void, that power void, evil people come in and fill that void and rule over you, and the only way according to the bible that you'll ever going to have freedom and liberty is when you're righteous. God's people, when they were righteous, they had freedom, and when they went in to sin, they went into bondage didn't they?
Here's the thing. You don't want to fall into the trap that the devil has laid because you have to understand that totalitarian government, they want to take the place of God in our lives. These so called atheistic, libertarians, anarchists or whatever they want to call themselves who are against God and against the lord, they're not on the side of true liberty and they are not our allies in anything because of the fact that first of all, when you're anti God, you're anti liberty, period. Number 2, their stupid "Oh yeah, we're going to fix everything. It's going to be great." No it isn't. It leads to the collapse of order and it leads to communism and totalitarianism coming in and filling that void. If you study the principles of communism, they claim it's an anarchic system, they claim like "Oh, in the end, when we reach communism, there'll be no government." You have to be careful not to get sucked into stupid philosophies, okay?
By the way, this anarcho capitalism can also lead into feudalism, but people just follow these trends. No, this is not a trend. This is the bible, this is the word of God, this is the system of government, everything that we believe politically, economically, legally should come from this book. This is the absolute truth on every subject. This is the truth right here. These people that are just ... The libertarians and so forth, but when they attack God's authority, and I've even heard many of these hardcore libertarians and anarcho capitalists, I've even heard them attack the authority of parents over their children.
This is foolishness because if you don't have parents with authority over their children, if you don't have God in authority over our lives with rules of thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill, thou shall not commit adultery, then your libertarian system cannot exist because liberty can only exist amongst people who are moral and self governing and have family structure and church structure and marriage structure in place to govern themselves, and people who do not govern themselves will be governed by someone else. Totalitarian government, whether it's the communists or anybody else throughout history, they've always destroyed all authority outside of themselves. It's funny how people, some of these stupid libertarians will also say "Oh Christianity's a tool of government control." Really? Is that why it's banned by totalitarian governments?
It's amazing how Kim Jong Il didn't tap into this control method. It's funny how Joseph Stalin didn't tap into this power right here. No, because this book brings liberty and freedom, and totalitarian governments hate this book. Why? Because they want to be in authority and have all the power so they want to attack all other forms of authority, so as a government gets out of control and when they start taking too much power and becoming static and totalitarian, then what they'll do first of all, they'll attack God's authority in our lives because they want to be God so they'll begin to tear down God and that's what our school system is doing right now with the atheism and godlessness that's being taught, but then not only that, they want to tear down the authority of parents over their children. They want to have control of the children. T
hey want the parents to be afraid of the children, they want the children to be trained in government schools and indoctrinated in their way of thinking and not to be raised by their parents. Look at the other institutions. They want to attack the authority of the church in our lives. They want to attack the authority of God. They want to attack the authority of parents, and then they want to attack the authority of husbands over their wives, so they bring in feminism so there's no authority of a husband in his home anymore or of a father and a mother over their children, and then not only that, they'll even attack the authority that a boss has over his employees, and think about how that happens. In communism, where it's the dictatorship of the proletarian and it's the workers who tell the boss how it's going to be at the job and it's supposedly the workers that are in charge and so forth, and it's backwards.
This is what labor unions do where they put the worker in the driver's seat instead of the boss, instead of the owner of the company, turn it upside down. Not only that, think about now how bosses are being forced to do things for their employees that they don't agree with. Providing them with birth control that they want to provide or whatever else, and then think about now how employers are told "Hey, you have to hire homosexuals. You don't want to hire them? Tough. You have to hire," instead of giving that boss of a company who's the owner the authority to hire whoever he wants and fire whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants because he's the boss. Notice how government that is out of bounds, totalitarian government attacks every single biblical authority in our lives.
Go down the list. Parents, husbands, bosses at work, the pastor of the church, God himself, the word of God, all of these authorities are torn down by a government that's out of control, and if you look at our nation when our nation had freedom, all those things were affirmed. The husbands role was affirmed, the parents were affirmed, God was affirmed, the bible was affirmed, the boss at work is affirmed. If you think that you're this political libertarian as you sit there and attack God's authority, attack husband's authority, attack parent's authority, attack the pastor's authority, attack all the different authorities that are legitimate and bonafide, you know what? You're not a real libertarian and you're part of the problem at that point. Think about that.
You're actually falling into the trap where the government could use you as a useful idiot to promote godlessness, feminism, rebellion against parents, because those are all things that play right under their hands, because listen. There will always be an authority, the stupid communist utopia doesn't exist. A lot of people don't realize, the communist countries that we would think of, the Soviet Union in the past, the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, North Korea, they would tell you is, they would say "We're not communists" but their moving toward communism. They say "Right now, we're socialists, that's why it was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" because they're socialists but they're like "We're moving toward communist, we're building communism," because communism is this pipe dream that you never arrive at, it never can exist, it never will exist, it never has existed, but the goal was to get to this point where they don't need the government anymore.
Look, there will never be a time on this planet where there will be no government. Somebody explain that to Adam Kokesh and all these people who think that "Oh we're going to learn liberty and it's going to be great and it's going to be a paradise of libertarianism," it's not going to happen. You know why? Because man is a sinner and there are evil people on this earth and somebody will always come in and take power and be in charge, and that's why there will be no world peace until Jesus comes, and when Jesus comes, there will be a government. The bible says the government shall be upon his shoulders. Jesus Christ will rule and reign with a rod of iron, not with a wet spaghetti noodle but with a rod of iron. He will rule. He will reign. There has to be a leader, and listen, if there's no leader in the church, then there's a power vacuum, bad people will come in and take over.
If there's no leader in the home, then bad people will lead your children, bad people will lead your wife, bad people will always step in and take over because bad people love to take power for themselves and abuse it. We don't want to fall into this trap of rebelling against legitimate authorities in our lives. Just because there are governments and authorities that are out of bounds, that's great, I'm all for taking a stand against government that's out of control and out of bounds and standing up for the liberties that we were born with, and that the law, the actual de jure law says we have even though the de facto law says we don't, I'm all for standing up for that, but you know what, when you're standing up against your parents and standing up against your husband and standing up against the boss at work and standing up to the pastor and standing up to everybody else, you're out of bounds at that point. It's stupid.
You need to be wise about what is appropriate and what is not, and the thing about this story is that David was anointed by God. There's no reason to be overthrowing him, killing him, and there's no record of David abusing the people at all. Other kings, the bible will tell us, sometimes oppress the people. You don't see that with David. You don't see him being an oppressor. You see him being a good leader. Of course, Absalom pointed out a few weaknesses in his leadership. If you look for fault, you're going to find something, but honestly, I don't think David was a bad king at all, I think he's a great king and a godly king, but these people are lead away in this wicked rebellion and now they want to get everybody involved in their sin, and now they're just on this murderous rampage to go kill David and whatever town tries to harbor him. They're ready to just rip it down and throw it in the river. Why?
Let's keep reading the story. It says in verse number 14 "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." God is working behind the scenes here to make sure that David ends up being preserved and that Absalom ends up being destroyed. He's working behind the scenes and making sure that everything goes that way. God can protect us even when people turn on us and fight us, God can still protect us and keep us safe. It says in verse number 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.
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." They're warning David. "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. 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." These guys are trying to get out of the city, somebody sees them and they're trying to escape and they're on the run so they jump inside of a well to hide.
It says in verse 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." She covers the well and then she sprinkles like dirt and corn just to make it look like that cover had been there for a long time just to kind of stop sitting on it and everything, so then they fall for that and they don't know that the guys are down the well. "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.'" Of course they're down in the well. "And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. 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.'
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. And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulcher of his father." Because David gets the message, this gives them time to cross over the Jordan river, put that body of water between them and Absalom to give them time to regroup, to make a plan, to eat, to be refreshed, and to get ready to fight and to win. It bought them that extra time. Ahithophel sees that and he sees that his counsel was not followed. He goes out and kills himself because he knows that they're doomed. He knows that they're following stupid advice. They should have done what he said. They should have got while the getting was good.
"Get in there and defeat him before it's too late," but of course it was of the lord because the lord is preserving David wheresoever he goes. It's funny, I read, speaking of all the communist and everything, I read, and you know what I want to say to these atheists too? Which atheist country has so much liberty and low taxes and freedom? Was our country founded by atheists? You can sit there and say "Oh they weren't saved." Okay, they weren't saved, but were the atheists? No, they weren't. You know what, even if some of the people at the top had some shady beliefs and whatever, the bottomline is that the average Joe in this country in the past believed the bible and respected God.
Even today in America, you'll probably run into more saved people in America than anywhere else in the world except maybe certain places, maybe the Philippines or in Africa where there are a lot of Christians in certain places, but honestly, in America, there are a lot of people saved here, and in the past there's been even more that were saved, and so that's why God has blessed our country and why we had freedom was because of the Christians in our country, the people that were saved. Show me the atheist country that's so wonderful. Of course people will point out "Oh Norway and Sweden." These tiny countries that have barely anybody in them and where the taxes are through the roof, and they'll point to Norway, Norway's 95% Lutheran, and that's atheist how? When you're 95% Lutheran, that's not called being an atheist.
"Well, but Sweden." 60% Lutheran, that's an atheist country. No, here's an atheist country. North Korea. Here's an atheist country. The People's Republic of China. Here's an atheist country, the Soviet Union, but "Oh yeah, these ... " Speaking of that, it's amazing, I read a really good biography of Mao Tse-tung who is one of the most evil people who's ever lived and this is the guy who's responsible for just tens of millions of deaths, 40 some million starved to death, let alone the tens of millions that he executed in communist China.
There was a time when Mao Tse-tung was on the run and being defeated and he was losing and he had nowhere else to go, he was being pushed back by the nationalist Chinese led by Chiang Kai-shek and they had Mao Tse-tung back against the wall, back into the corner, pushed up against the border of China where he has nowhere to go, they controlled 90 some percent of the country, he's just in this little sliver of land, and just when Chiang Kai-shek was going to deliver the death blow and just end Mao Tse-tung and the communist red army, the United States ordered Chian Kai-shek to stand down and let them keep that one part that they had, that little tiny sliver where Mao was, let them have that, and they said "If you don't, we won't support you anymore, Chiang Kai-shek."
Actually, the United States, by tying the hands of Chiang Kai-shek from defeating, and I'm not saying he was a great guy from defeating Mao Tse-tung, one of the most evil dictators who ... He gets the award for the most deaths in the 20th century, Mao Tse-tung. Joseph Stalin is the runner up for that prize of burning in the lowest hell or whatever, but Mao Tse-tung, responsible for scores of millions of deaths could have been defeated, but basically, United States told him "Hey, stand down," and you know what that allowed? Mao Tse-tung to do was basically to regroup, he got new supply lines in, he got better weapons from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was setting him up with weapons and propping him up and they were able to get the training from the Soviet Union and regroup and then slowly, they were able to come back and take it back and defeat Chiang Kai-shek, send him to Taiwan and take over the whole country, and the rest is history.
That's the thing here where Ahithophel is saying, and obviously the roles are reversed becaue David's the good guy, but that's what Ahithophel was saying. "We need to just go in there and just wipe him out while he's tired. Wipe him out while he's on the rung. Don't give him time to regroup," but then what does he do? He stands down, they get across the river, they regroup, they get the soldiers organized, they get him fed, and they're going to come back and win it. Let me find my place here in the chapter. Verse ... What's that?
You're on 24.
24, yeah. That's right because in 23, Ahithophel hang himself. Also, this is somewhat symbolic of Judas Iscariot because Ahithophel is a Judas because he's betrayed whom? David. He was David's counselor, he betrayed him, and remember what it says of Judas Iscariot, he was guide to them that took Jesus. You remember how he's described that way? What's Ahithophel, he's a guide unto Ahithophel, and so he, like Judas, goes out and hangs himself. It's just interesting how there's so much foreshadowing of the events of the life of Christ all throughout the bible no matter what book you're in, it's always foreshadowing and pointing us to the story of Christ. David crosses the brook Kidron and the guide, the betrayer goes and hangs himself. Again, symbolic of Judas Iscariot. Now of course, this is one of the few suicides in the bible. The bible records very few people who committed suicide but it does tell us about some.
A lot of people have this saying of "Hey, if you commit suicide, you're going to hell," but honestly, the bible doesn't teach that anywhere. Suicide is obviously not something that God would ever want us to do, it's a wicked thing to do, but there are people in the bible who committed suicide who went to heaven, which of course, Judas Iscariot is not one of them. Judas Iscariot was called the son of perdition, but see, a lot of people say "Oh Judas lost his salvation." No, because Judas was never saved and the bible's real clear about that, even early in Jesus's ministry. He says "Have not I chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil?" In John 6, early in his ministry, and he said early in his ministry "There be some of you that believe not." That was the problem with Judas. He said "There be some of you that believe not," and he said "For Jesus knew who was that believe not and who would betray him."
Judas did not believe the bible's crystal clear in John 6 and that he was a devil even early on. He said "Have not I chosen you twelve and one of you is devil?" Judas did not lose his salvation. You can't lose your salvation. Judas was never saved in the first place. Judas died and went to hell, he was the son of perdition and would have been better for him if he'd never been born, and of course he's in hell right now, but there were people in the bible who committed suicide who are not in hell, like for example, King Sol, not in hell. King Saul committed suicide and Samuel the prophet said "Tomorrow shall thou and thy sons come be with me," because he's going to die and go to be with Samuel. Well Samuel wasn't in hell, Samuel was in heaven, and so he's saying "You're going to come be with me."
Also, another person who committed suicide was Samson, and he's listed in Hebrews 11 as being one of the great cloud of witnesses, he's being one of the men of faith, the great hall of faith in Hebrews 11. Of course he was saved and he committed suicide. It says something that's Catholic. "Hey, if you commit suicide, you'll never make it in heaven." That's not biblical, it's a sin like anything else. It's a horrible thing to do, especially horrible to the people that you leave behind. It's a very selfish, horrible thing to do for them but it is not going to send you to hell. That is a false doctrine. It's not something to be praised either like the Buddhist. Remember the Buddhist that were lighting themselves on fire? That's not a noble thing to do, but the bible says that he hanged himself and he was buried in the sepulcher of his father.
Look. Why did he hang himself? He saw that his counsel was not followed so he went and got to his house in order to hang himself. If you give people advice and they don't take it, don't freak out. Isn't that what some people do? Some people, you give them advice and you don't really care if they take it or leave it. When I give somebody advice and they decide to go a different route, okay, that's fine. What I don't do though is someone will come to me with a certain problem and then I give them advice on how to fix it, and then they come back to me and say "Pastor, I still have that problem. What do I do?" They haven't done what I told them. "Did you do what I told you last time? Why are you coming back to me?" It doesn't make sense to come back to me with the same problem after I already gave you the solution, you don't want to follow it and you're just like "Give me another answer, give me something different."
No, I'm not going to give you something different. I only have one answer, the right answer. Anyway, I'm just saying, but here's the thing. If I give somebody advice, if somebody asked me and it's not really like a moral issue, sometimes you just advice, "Should I take door number 1 or door number 2?" You're just kind of looking for advice, and I say "You know what? I probably go with door number 1," and then they end up going with door number 2. There's no reason to get angry or upset about that, but some people, you can get advice from them and ask them for advice and you know that whether you take it or don't, they're going to be okay with that, and then you're more likely to go ask that person for advice again, but then some people are like they're only going to give you advice if you're going to for sure do what they say.
It's like "Whoa, I don't want to ask you for advice then" because I'm like committing to follow it before I've even heard it, so it's silly when you get mad when people don't take your advice. Some of these people are getting different advice from different people and they're going to weigh their options, they might decide to go another route. It's okay, Ahithophel. You don't have to go out and hang yourself and freak out. There's really never a reason to hang yourself, but don't freak out when people don't take your advice. Just get over it. It's okay. People take it personally, like it's an insult. "Oh he doesn't think my advice is good." If you want to come ask me for advice, I'm not going to freak out if you don't take my advice, but if you come and ask me what to do and I tell you and then you still have the same issue, then at that point, it almost seem like you're just wasting my time though.
I'm not going to sit there and just demand that anybody who ask me for advice, follow my advice, because advice is just that, it's just advice. It's just an option, it's just something to think about, and sometimes people that are smart people and good people, sometimes the advice they gave you is not the right advice just because they don't really know the whole situation. When people ask me for advice, sometimes it's hard for me because I'm not really there in the thick of it and I'm only getting part of the story. It's hard for me to even give the right advice. I'm not like Ahithophel where everything I say is like you asked God or something, but the bible says in verse 24 "Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother."
Basically, Amasa is David's sister's mother's barber's farmer's roomate's cousin. Basically, it's just saying that they are loosely related, okay. It's just explaining a little bit of a distant relationship there of Amasa and David. That's who's the captain of Absalom's host instead of Joab because Joab has gone with David and been loyal to David. "So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead. And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, and honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness."
What we see in this last section here is just God is providing, and God's even using some unlikely sources to provide. Even the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon. "I've been a former enemy of David." You remember that story with Nahash? God can provide for us in our time of need as long as we love the lord and seek first the kingdom of God, the bible says that he will provide for all our needs according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus, and so here, David, even in the wilderness, [inaudible 42:06] question, can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Yes. God rained manna from heaven and fed the children of Israel. God can and will supply our needs. We don't need to worry about where our food and drink will come from as long as we go out and labor 6 days and work hard, God is going to provide us with what we need, and here, God provides for David even from some unlikely sources, and he provides good things.
It's not even just a ration of bread and water. He's providing butter and honey. God will often provide us with nice things if we wait on the lord and trust him, he'll provide us with good things, and so he's getting these nice things in the wilderness. Also, it comes from a source that you wouldn't expect, and I think God will often sometimes bring us blessings from a strange source just so that we'll know that it's coming from him. "This has to be God," when Nahash's relatives are bringing me stuff. It's just another testament to the goodness of God here. What we learned from this story obviously, just the wickedness of the rebels and the fact that they want to get everybody involved in their sin and their coming after David, but God's not going to bless it, so God confounds their good plan and gives David enough time to get across the river, get refreshed, get some butter and honey in him, and he's ready to come back and destroy the enemy.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for your word lord and all the lessons that are there, and please help us to keep reading and keep studying and learning these stories because they do have a spiritual meaning and they do have relevance and application in our lives today, lord. Help us to be wise and to learn everything that the bible has for us and to implement these teachings in our lives, in Jesus's name we pray, Amen.