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From Eternity Past

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    God Does Not Give Absalom Wisdom

    Soon after David left Jerusalem, Absalom and his army took possession of the stronghold of Israel. Hushai was among the first to greet the new-crowned monarch, and the prince was gratified at the accession of his father's old friend and counselor. Absalom was confident of success. Eager to secure the confidence of the nation, he welcomed Hushai to his court.EP 535.4

    Absalom was surrounded by a large force, but it was mostly composed of men untrained for war. Ahithophel well knew that a large part of the nation were still true to David; he was surrounded by tried warriors commanded by able and experienced generals. Ahithophel knew that after the first burst of enthusiasm in favor of the new king, a reaction would come. Should the rebellion fail, Absalom might secure a reconciliation with his father. Then Ahithophel, as his chief counselor, would be held most guilty; upon him the heaviest punishment would fall.EP 535.5

    To prevent Absalom from retracing his steps, Ahithophel counseled an act that would make reconciliation impossible. With hellish cunning, this unprincipled statesman urged Absalom to add the crime of incest to that of rebellion. In the sight of all Israel he was to take to himself his father's concubines, thus declaring that he succeeded to his father's throne. And Absalom carried out the vile suggestion. Thus was fulfilled the word of God to David by the prophet, “Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor... . For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 2 Samuel 12:11, 12. Not that God prompted these acts, but He did not exercise His power to prevent them.EP 536.1

    Ahithophel was destitute of divine enlightenment, or he could not have based the success of treason on the crime of incest. Men of corrupt hearts plot wickedness, as if there were no overruling Providence to cross their designs.EP 536.2

    Having succeeded in securing his own safety, Ahithophel urged, “Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: and I will come upon him while he is weary and weakhanded, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: and will bring back all the people unto thee.” Had this plan been followed, David would surely have been slain. But “the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom.”EP 536.3

    Hushai had not been called to the council. But after the assembly had dispersed, Absalom, who had a high regard for the judgment of his father's counselor, submitted to him the plan of Ahithophel.EP 536.4

    Hushai saw that if the plan were followed, David would be lost. He said, “The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place.” If Absalom's forces should pursue David, they would not capture the king; and should they suffer a reverse, it would dishearten them and work great harm to Absalom's cause. “For,” he said, “all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.”EP 536.5

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