2 Samuel 17 … Consider Him Who Thwarts the Good Counsel

For the Lord had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring calamity on Absalom, (17:14).

It looks like the bad guys are winning… Hollywood loves these kinds of scenes… the cliffhangers. The enemy has spies and scouts, and what’s worse, they have a plan; a wise plan as a result of good counsel.

I confess I was a bit confused when I read this description in His inspired Word. This counsel was meant to overthrow God’s anointed king! How can that be good?

This word, translated good from Hebrew, is an “adjective… frequently encountered in the Old Testament and is roughly equivalent to the English word good in terms of its function and scope of meaning.” And while often this word is used to describe that which is morally good or kind and becoming, in this instance it “describes that which is appealing and pleasant to the senses…; is useful and profitable…; is the better of two alternatives…” (Logos Bibles Software).

In other words, the counsel of Ahithophel is good in that it will prove effective in achieving its goal if carried out. It was also good in the sense that it was appealing and pleasant to the senses of David’s wicked son, Absalom, and all those opposed to God’s rule; and it would be useful and profitable to accomplish man’s purpose. The counsel of Ahithophel actually would have proven the better of the two alternatives (versus the counsel of Hushai) in accomplishing the overthrow of David as king.

But it is God alone Whose purposes prevail, no matter how good the counsel, plans and schemes of the enemy, for it is God alone Who Thwarts the Good Counsel.

Consider Him Who Thwarts the Good Counsel

  • He Thwarts the Good Counsel Against the Eternal Truth of His Word.
    • The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever,
      (Isaiah 40:8).
  • He Thwarts the Good Counsel Against the Fulfillment of His Will.
    •  “This is the plan determined for the whole world;
      this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
      27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart Him?
      His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
      (Isaiah 14:26-27 NIV).
  • He Thwarts the Good Counsel Against the Attacks on His Own.
    • “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
      And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
      This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
      And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.”
      (Isaiah 54:17).

How must we respond to Him Who Thwarts the Good Counsel?

We are repeatedly admonished in God’s Word to evaluate life’s circumstances through eyes of faith rather than with our natural sight and understanding. The reality is we listen to counsel daily; we are wired that way. Daily we are barraged with good counsel through television and social media, co-workers and friends, our own thoughts and imaginations. And often the counsel is deemed good because it appeals to our senses or promises immediate results, which often seems the more appealing alternative to waiting.

In times of trial and suffering, especially times that cannot be explained by the natural, the competing voices and good counsel against God’s goodness and faithfulness often usher in doubt and skepticism and threaten to encroach on and choke out our faith. When we fail to consider and contemplate His Good Counsel we are in danger of being squeezed into a mold resembling the ideals of the world rather than the image of His Son.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” (Romans 8:28-29).

When circumstances appear to oppose His Good Counsel we must come in faith to His Word for His Truth. And then we have the choice to make… Whose Good Counsel will we accept?

By His empowering Holy Spirit, the Lord enables us to accept His Good Counsel as we:

  • Agree with His Truth
    • “Forever, O Lord,
      Your word is settled in heaven,”
      (Psalm 119:89).
    • “The sum of Your word is truth,
      And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting,”
      (Psalm 119:160).
  • Trust His Will
    • “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
      For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
      (Psalm 9:10).
    • “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • Rest as His Own
    • “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;” (Romans 8:31-33).
    • “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:35-39).

As we agree with His Truth, trust His Will and rest as His Own, the Holy Spirit will accomplish His transforming work through the renewing of our minds, strengthening our faith and assurance of His Truth, His Will and His Rest, thus enabling us to accept God’s Good Counsel and experience by faith Him Who Thwarts the Good Counsel.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Romans 12:2).

Let’s Grow Together!

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