(2 Samuel 15-17)
No one was as smart as Ahithophel in his day. He was the renowned counsellor of King David. Both David and Absalom considered his advice like that of a prophet of God (2Sam.16:23). But he obviously had ambitions of his own.When Absalom conspired against King David, Ahithophel did the numbers. He calculated that he, as counsellor to the new king, could defeat David. And, left to himself, Ahithophel would have indeed ruled over the Kingdom. Absalom would have been but a puppet king.It really does pay to pray at all times. When King David, on the run from Absalom, heard that Ahithophel had sided with his son, he prayed: “O Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (2Sam.15:31).His prayer was answered. Hushai, a close friend to King David, chose to follow David. David sent him back as a spy—to frustrate the advice of Ahithophel.Ahithophel wanted to quickly consolidate Absalom’s throne. When one king conquered another, he proved his authority by sleeping with the former king’s wives. Ahithophel advised Absalom to do so, and he did. Then Absalom asked Ahithophel for a battle plan. Ahithophel told him to strike fast and hard. Of course, he was right. He knew how vulnerable David was.Like Pharaoh before him, Absalom’s vanity was his Achilles heel. What better way to show off his might than to parade his father’s turncoat friend in front of everyone? Absalom asked Hushai for a second opinion. Hushai grabbed the opportunity to play the crowd. He told everyone exactly what they thought they already knew. That David was a mighty and seasoned warrior who would never allow himself to be overrun. Thus, wait and attack with full-force. He was wrong in this case, but that didn’t matter. All he had to do was convince Absalom’s panel of advisors that he was right. And that he did. By God’s providence Ahithophel’s advice was frustrated. Because God had determined to bring down Absalom (2Sam.17:14).When Hushai’s advice was taken, Ahithophel knew it was all over. He went home, “put his house in order and hanged himself” (2Sam.17:23). We stand assured that when a man’s wisdom stands against the will of the Lord, no matter how lofty be his credentials, the will of the Lord will prevail!