Summary: What was it that destroyed Ahithophel? As we saw in the first part of this message, grudge and bitterness led to his annihilation, in other words, his inability to forgive, even when King David did not even know he had that deep a grudge against him.
Designed 2 Disgrace, Designed 2 Destroy (2): 4 Key Questions
Introduction: What was it that destroyed Ahithophel? As we saw in the first part of this message, grudge and bitterness led to his annihilation, in other words, his inability to forgive, even when King David did not even know he had that deep a grudge against him. But in contrast to Ahithophel, the Bible says our God is slow to anger, abounding in love and mercy, He is compassionate and gracious. In the New Testament, Jesus made the perfect and final sacrifice through which God’s forgiveness reached all believers (Romans 3:25). If you look closely at the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, you will understand that the means of receiving forgiveness from God is anchored not on our knowledge of the Word of God, our prayers but on our willingness to forgive others.
The concept of God’s higher Ways & Thoughts
When the Bible in Isaiah 55: 6-9 talks about higher ways and higher thoughts, this is largely connected to the idea of pardon or forgiveness. So, how are God’s ways and thoughts higher than ours?
a) In forgiveness of sins: Can you completely forgive a friend that hurts you? Ahithophel is typical of many of us, as we find it extremely difficult to forgive, and we go even a step further trying to seek revenge.
b) In number of offences: Exceptionally, we are able to forgive a few times, not after repeated offences while God who has higher ways forgives many times lovingly as completely as the first time. Matt 18: 21-22, 1 John 1:9, Amos 2:6
c) In number of offenders: Men may forgive one person or a few people, but the greater the number of offenders, the less we are inclined to forgive. God forgives ALL regardless of the number of offenders. 1 Timothy 2:4, 1 Peter 2:9
d) In kinds of offences: We normally limit ourselves to some particular kinds of offences we would forgive but God with higher thoughts has no qualification or list except one; rejecting the only means of help He can offer. Matthew 12:31-32
e) In degree of offences: If the offence is small enough, if it doesn’t bring any great injury, we will readily forgive. But Jesus forgave the greatest and most aggravating offence against Him. Even on the cross of Calvary, he said father forgive them for they know not what they are doing Lk 23:34
f) In mode of pardon: We are willing to forgive if that forgiveness does not cost much or when we know that it is in our advantage to forgive. We usually demand an apology while God demands repentance. God gave the most precious gift of heaven that He may have a basis for forgiveness of his enemies, even without being asked!
Let me ask you one question today: Are you an Ahithophel hiding behind a mask? Are you an Ahithophel that has refused to forgive, an Ahithophel carrying the heavy, stinking sac of “cherished dislike?” Even when God forgave David, Ahithophel did not, when the woman at the centre of the storm Bathsheba forgave David, Ahithophel didn’t. When Bathsheba’s father Eliam forgave David, Ahithophel the grandfather didn’t. Even when the father did! He held on tight to his unforgiveness, he never let go. His anger burned for nine 9 years, all the while pretending towards David, bidding his time until he could exact revenge. Ahithophel was a mask wearer, until God exposed him.
A few scripture based practical things to do if you have a spirit of Ahithophel in you:
1. Acknowledge your own sin in allowing the root of bitterness to flourish in you 1 John 1:9.
2. Forgive those that hurt you, it is not an option, it is the only option Matt. 18:15-17; Matt. 18:21-35; Luke 17:1-5; Eph. 4:32. Forgiveness is not what we give to people who come crawling to us on their knees, to those who finally realise that they were wrong and we were right, or to those who come begging. Just do it? It doesn’t mean you need to go back to being friendly with the person, but you have to get to the level where you can get it out of you and move on.
3. Past events must be forgotten! What happened yesterday can never be changed. But you hold the key to tomorrow. Don’t allow the hurts of yesterday to control you life today or to derail you from your destiny.
4. Hatred and anger must be forsaken! Eph. 4:26-27
Now, the 4 key Questions
1. Didn’t Ahithophel have a right to be offended? Absolutely!
2. Didn’t David do a horrible thing? Absolutely!
3. Didn’t Ahithophel have a right to be hurt? Absolutely!
4. Did Ahithophel have a right to be unforgiving and to carry that bitterness for years and years even if it means taking it to his grave, Absolutely No.