Security and God’s Providence
2 Samuel 17 (Part 1)
Human Decisions and God’s Providence
The Author’s Statement on God’s Providence
Human Actions and God’s Providence
A Failure to Adequately Consider God’s Providence
God’s Provision and His Providence
1.Human Decisions and God’s Providence
1 Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “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 discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, 3 and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” 7 Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” 8 Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” . . . 2 Samuel 17:1-14 (ESV)
Ahithophel’s character teaches us that it is possible to be very intelligent and possess great mental understanding of a situation and yet be a stranger to the love of God and, therefore, His wisdom.
Hushai knew how to be successful with Absalom—appeal to his vanity and sense of caution.
Ahithophel gave better advice to accomplish Absalom’s goal, but Hushai offered more convincing advice by enhancing Absalom’s misperceptions. Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 21:1
2. The Author’s statement of God’s Providence
14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:14 (ESV)
When trying to understand the central intent of a narrative passage, always look for a summary statement from the author; such statements are imperative to the correct interpretation of the text. Daniel 4:35
It may appear that David’s kingdom is teetering on the brink of destruction based on the power plays and wisdom of men, but the author reminds us that God is in full control.