There’s a guy in the days of King David that we can all learn from. Ahithophel.
He’s pretty much covered in three chapters of 2 Samuel.
BACKGROUND: David is running for his life, from his own rebellious son Absalom, all the trouble having been precipitated by David’s earlier sin – yet another sad lesson. Sin forgiven often still has ramifications:
2 Sam 12:10-12 (NKJ)
10 ‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’
11 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
12 ‘For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'”
BACK TO AHITHOPHEL:
2 Sam 15:12-37
12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city– from Giloh– while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.
Absalom clearly recognized and valued the profound anointing that was upon Ahithophel – he had been David’s premier spiritual counselor. It is recounted a little later in chapter 16 – but we will sneak ahead for our purposes:
2 Sam 16:23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
So Absalom is rightly impressed with Ahithophel, but the bigger problem is that Ahithophel is also impressed with Ahithophel. He chose to stay in the city, with the new rebel king – Absalom, so that his gifting could flourish in the king’s courts, even if it was the wrong king.
Ahithophel chose to sacrifice righteousness for anointing. Trouble, folks.
Meanwhile, David sends a loyal man, Hushai, to remain in Jerusalem, pretending to become loyal to Absalom.
2 Sam 16:15-23 (NKJ)
15 Meanwhile Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him.
16 And so it was, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”
17 So Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?”
18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, but whom the LORD and this people and all the men of Israel choose, his I will be, and with him I will remain.
19 “Furthermore, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.”
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give counsel as to what we should do.”
21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred by your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strong.”
22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
ANOINTED MAN #1: Here we see one anointed man (David) fleeing Jerusalem, suffering consequences of his already-forgiven sin (but God has not given up on David – because David was a repentant man, and a man who loved the Lord and loved the things of the Kingdom of God).
ANOINTED MAN #2: And we see another anointed man, Ahithophel, who gets so wrapped up in his spiritual authority that his anointing takes precedence over righteousness and sound judgment. And it gets worse. Overcome by the evil he has made room for in his own life, Ahithophel (in many ways like a Judas to David) comes up with a plan to destroy David:
2 Sam 17:1-14
1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight.
2 “I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and make him afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king.
3 “Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace.”
4 And the saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
(But here comes the intervention of God, who puts it into the heart of Absalom to ask Hushai, David’s mole, for his opinion)
5 Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too.”
6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.”
7 So Hushai said to Absalom: “The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time.”
8 “For,” said Hushai, “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people.
9 “Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’
10 “And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.
11 “Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person.
12 “So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one.
13 “Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there.”
14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring disaster on Absalom.
You can of course read the entire chapter of intrigue yourself, but here is the conclusion, of Ahithophel:
23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.
So what does this have to do with us?
Joel prophesied the following, which was repeated by Peter in Acts 2:17-20 (NKJ)
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
Peter recognized that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room was the very beginning of the last days outpouring. That was 2,000 years ago. Unlike many, I do not believe most everything (particularly the tough stuff we’d all love to avoid) was fulfilled during the first century AD. There are simply way too many prophecies clearly STILL unfulfilled for anyone to soberly come to that conclusion. You can wander around this website and read my thoughts on this important matter.
Joel was speaking of the LAST DAYS. Peter was recognizing the birthing of the last days anointing, via Holy Spirit infilling.
And what we have ahead of us, for certain, is an increase in the intensity of events here on earth, and a very definite, promised increase in the anointing upon the saints, for the purposes of ministry and evangelism and expansion of the Kingdom of God.
And with that increase will surely come the allure and temptation for any one of us to become so enthralled with our bona fide anointings, that we could begin prioritizing those anointings, callings, giftings – even over righteousness and obedience and holiness. Remember Jesus in the desert, with Satan. “If You are the son of God….”
And giving in to those temptations, and acting upon them, like Ahithophel, we can and will get hung up as well.
Prov 16:18 (NKJ)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Simple, clear, and timeless.
We must determine to keep our eyes on the only Perfect One – Jesus. Our great God desires for His people to walk in power and authority, accomplishing great things for the Kingdom. Anointings will increase. Light will shine brighter as days get darker. But our anointings and our callings must never become the issue. There is one issue: Jesus.
Micah 6:8 (NKJ)
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God…….