September 7, 2011 Devotion Sharing (2 Sam. 17)

Submitted by Steve K. from Gracepoint Riverside Church

2 Samuel 17:1-14

“Hushai’s successful effort to counter the advice of Ahithophel is a classic use of the principles of rhetoric being used to convince a person to take a certain action. He appealed to fear, to the desire for military glory, and to Absalom’s strong desire for personal achievement.”

What can I learn about Absalom’s character from the fact that he was persuaded by Hushai’s advice over that of Ahithophel’s?

The fact that Absalom was persuaded by Hushai’s advice tells me that he is someone who is prone to responding to advice that appeals to his fears.  Hushai reminds Absalom about how his father David is known to be an experienced fighter along with the men who are with him.   Hushai goes on to mention that ‘if’ David and his men attacked Absalom’s troops first, then people will say, “There has been a slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom.”  Hushai suggests that if this happened, then even the bravest soldier will melt with fear.

What Hushai was suggesting was a big ‘if’, but it was enough to cause Absalom to be persuaded.

To further persuade Absalom to not listen to Ahithophel’s advice Hushai paints a picture of how mighty and glorious he could be in facing his father’s troops head on.  Hushai suggests gathering a massive army first around himself, so that he can attack his father wherever he may be found.  This alternate future would’ve appealed to Absalom’s ego.  It’s a future that makes him look almost invincible.

What can I learn about God’s sovereignty from v. 14 and the fact that these events were an answer to David’s prayer in 2 Samuel 15:31?

This reminds me of how ultimately God is in control, and because this is true I can fight against my impulses of responding in fear.  I can be calm and react with proper discernment, wisdom and just a sense of peace about how in the end God will hear my prayers and create a way to bring about His ultimate good.  This embrace of God’s sovereignty over my life and over history in general frees me up to not grasp for things and react feeling like I might miss out on something or that I will have regrets.  I can put into practice God’s words like…

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In light of God’s sovereignty over my life, my ego can be put in its right place, which will free my heart and mind up to be genuinely “other centered” and able to submit myself to what God instructs me to do each day through DTs.  Also knowing that He hears our prayers and that He is faithful in answering our prayers encourages me to daily go to God in prayer for all that’s on my heart from little to big concerns.  I can ‘in everything…present my requests to God’ and anticipate that His peace will guard my heart and mind in Christ from folly, blunders and sins.

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