Don't Let Bitterness Kill You

Devotional

Who was Ahithophel? 

Ahithophel was the trusted counselor of King David. 2 Sam 16:23 tells us that his counsel was like the oracles of God. Another translation says that every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God! That means he was a powerfully anointed spokesperson of God. He could even have been called “the smartest man in the world.”

Scholars say that Psalm 55.12-14 likely refers to the relationship between Ahithophel and David where it describes the betrayer as "A man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company"...

Ahithophel means brother of foolishness How did this wise man become a brother of foolishness? What foolish thing did he do?

We find that even though Ahithophel served David, from the beginning of his reign in Hebron, and was close to him for many years, we read in 2 Samuel 16:15 that he turned traitor on his King and joined the conspiracy of Absalom.

When Absalom rebelled against his father, Ahithophel switched sides and became Absalom’s counselor.

He gave two pieces of strategic advice to Absalom. The first was to publicly take possession of the king’s harem, thus showing himself to be mightier than the king (2 Sam. 16:21, 22). 

His second advice was to immediately pursue David and kill him while he was running away from Absalom. Ahithophel advised Absalom to strike David quickly and even offered to ride at the head of the column so that he could kill David himself (2 Sam. 17:1- 4)

The Talmud (which is Rabbinical literature) speaks of Ahithophel as "a man, like Balaam, whose great wisdom was not received in humility as a gift from heaven, and so became a stumbling-block to him". He was "one of those who, while casting longing eyes upon things not belonging to them, lose also the things they possess"  

The important thing to learn from Ahithophel is that smart people can sometimes make really stupid choices. Ahithophel must have been one of the wisest men that ever lived. But his wisdom didn’t prevent his heart from making the biggest mistake of his life, which ultimately cost him his life

When you look into your life, can you think of any wrong choices that you have made in relationships? Have you experienced your good friend betraying you? 

The life of Ahithophel has many lessons you can learn from such experiences.

Quote

“Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my master, with a kiss.” - Charles Spurgeon

Prayer

Lord help me to make the right choices in life. Help me not to betray trust for ulterior and selfish motives. Amen