The Lord’s Turn
Daily Reading: (2 Samuel 15:31):
“Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (2 Samuel 15:31).
What is happening here is heartbreaking. At this moment Absalom (David’s third son) was plotting to seize David’s throne. Absalom relied for the success of his rebellion upon the personal support he had built up among the country people. This was one reason why he chose Hebron as the place to declare himself king (7-10). The leading citizens of Jerusalem were unaware of the plot, except for the man who was possibly the mastermind behind it, David’s own chief adviser, Ahithophel (11-12). Ahithophel’s name means brother of ruin or folly.
“So David prayed, “Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (2 Samuel 15:31b).
David wrote this of Ahithophelin Psalm 41:9 as David lamented,
“Even my own close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me [betraying me].” Which also speaks of what Judas would do to Jesus.
And in Psalm 55:12-14, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; Then I could have born it: Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; Then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, My guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked unto the house of God in company.”
These verses show how close Ahithophel was to David and the level of relationship they had. He knew David’s way of thinking and strategies, so he was the best in position to give an insider’s view of David’s possible reactions to the rebellion. Ahithophel’s son Eliam is listed among David’s 30 warriors (2 Samuel 23:34). This relationship gets even wilder because where else is Eliam’s name mentioned? 2 Samuel 11:3 notes that Eliam is the father of Bathsheba. Bathsheba is one of David’s wives. PerhapsAhithophel may have been seeking a way of revenge against David for the sin he committed with his granddaughter and the death of his son-in-law which happened in 2 Samuel 11.
David knew that even Ahithophel’s wisdom had come as a gift from God, God can turn it where wise counsel sounds like foolishness to David’s enemies. God can turn it for us. Everything and almost everyone was conspiring against David, but God can turn it. What looks like a certain defeat, God can turn it into a surpassing overwhelming victory. When we don’t know where to turn, we don’t know who to trust, remember to turn to the Lord for it is the Lord’s turn to lead us into a great victory for His name’s sake. When we don’t have the wisdom, when we don’t have the strength. We are in a perfect position to see things turn as we turn to the one who can turn it, as God shows Himself strong on our behalf. Turn it for me Lord, may this trial turn into a testimony of your faithfulness and great love.
David will in this moment give us a foreshadowing of Christ to come. Because where is David at when he prayed?
“But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up” (2 Samuel 15:30).
David went up the Ascent of the Mount of Olives: When Jesus went from the Last Supper to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, He essentially traced these same steps of David. Both David and Jesus suffered for sin, but Jesus suffered for our sins and David suffered for his own. Wept as he went up, and he had his head covered and went barefoot: These were emblems of mourning. David was struck by the greatness of this tragedy for the nation, for his family, and for himself.
How will this prayer be answered? David sent his other aide Hushai back to Jerusalem to frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel to Absalom. David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice (2 Samuel 15:33-34).
Hushai’s name means hasting, swiftness of motion, speed. I believe there is a hidden message in who David sent. Right after David prayed, his action demonstrated his faith in God answering his prayer. David immediately sent “swiftness” (Hushai) as a part of the plan and prayer for God to turn Ahithophel’s counsel into sounding foolish to Absalom. When we pray, may our actions and our words demonstrate our belief that God is actively working on our behalf through those cares we have given over to Him.