Read – 2 Samuel 17
Focus on verse 14
Some things were just meant to be…or so we say when something that seems inevitable to us happens. I would take that a step further and suggest that everything happens for a purpose—there are no accidents—no such thing as coincidence. I would also maintain that despite this, we continue to have absolute freedom to choose our pathway through life.
When God ordains something to happen, there is not a thing man can do that will stop that thing from happening. The Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, for the Lord meant to protect David and to bring harm to Absalom.
Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom. (v. 14)
The ironic thing about this is that even if Ahithophel and Hushai both had told Absalom that the Lord was against Him in this, and that David would win and Absalom would die, I rather doubt that Absalom would have repented and sought forgiveness from his father. He likely would have tried a different approach to defeat David, which ultimately also would have failed.
The way God exercises His sovereignty in relation to humanity is sometimes describes in ways that makes it seem as though our ability to choose has been overridden by God’s desire for a specific outcome. I am convinced however, that God is able to give us complete freedom to make choices, and to use those choices to bring about exactly what He intended from the beginning of time.
In that sense then Absalom was never at any time outside of the reach of the grace of God. All he would have had to do is choose to repent and ask the forgiveness of God and of his father. The fact that he did not does not mean he didn’t have a choice, it just means he made the choice not to take that path. I suspect that with every step he took down his chosen path that moved him closer to his own self-destruction, the choice to turn around became more difficult and less likely.
Absalom’s choice to walk this road began many years earlier when he allowed his hatred for his brother Amnon to motivate him to commit murder. He progressed further down this road when he began to blame his father David for shutting him out of his life, when it was just as much Absalom’s choice to do so.
What becomes evident here is how Satan works incrementally on our minds. It typically starts with subtle little twists of the truth…one built upon the next built on the next, until we are convinced in our own mind that good is evil and evil is good. When we act upon these deceptions we become the a pawn in a deadly game that Satan knows he has already lost. There is only one exit ramp off this road of rebellious self destruction. It is the difficult choice to humble our selves and repent before God of our rebellion. It is never too late to change directions; do not forget however that it becomes increasingly difficult to do so the further we move away from God.