Summary: Ahithophel, David's most sagacious counselor, turned against David because Bathsheba was his grand-daughter, and he never would forgive David, even though she became Queen and the mother of Solomon, the next King!
THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT FORGIVE
2 Sam. 11:3; 23:34
A. HUMOR: Forgive Your Enemies
1. Preacher preached on “Forgiving Your Enemies.” Halfway through the service, He asked his congregation, “How many of you have forgiven their enemies?” About half held up their hands.
2. He then preached his sermon over and then asked “How many have forgiven your enemies?” As it was past lunchtime, this time about 80 percent held up their hands.
3. He then reemphasized the message and asked them again. All responded, except one elderly lady.
4. "Mrs. Jones?" inquired the preacher, “Aren’t you willing to forgive your enemies?” “I don't have any.” she replied, smiling.
5. “Oh, Mrs. Jones, what an example you are to all of us. Would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live as many years as you have and not have an enemy in the world."
6. The sweet little lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said "I outlived all the old hags."
Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give us your advice. What should we do?” Ahithophel answered, “I would choose 12,000 men and set out tonight in pursuit of David. 2 I would attack him while he is weary and weak. I would strike him with terror, and then all the people with him will flee. I would strike down only the king 3 and bring all the people back to you.” 2 Sam. 16:20; 17:1-3.
1. We have modern paragons of superhuman intelligence; Einstein, Isaac Newton, Galileo, John Stuart Mill, Leonardo Da Vinci, some might include Steven Hawking.
2. The Bible tells about a man who was such a genius that his advice was compared with that of angels, and thought to be infallible. His name was Ahithophel. He was King David’s wisest counselor.
3. But he allowed unforgiveness to take over his life, to cause him to turn against David, and ultimately, to cause his death. His life is an example of how far down an unforgiving person will fall.
4. The title of this message is “The Man Who Would Not Forgive.”
I. THE GREATNESS OF AHITHOPHEL
A. HIS POSITION
1. “And Ahithophel was the king's counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king's companion” 1 Chron. 27:33. So with King David over a vast empire, from the Euphrates to the borders of Egypt, Ahithophel served in David’s Cabinet as David’s most trusted counselor. Quite a high office. In addition to that, his advice was virtually divine.
2. “And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counseled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God” 2 Sam. 16:23. TLB says, “for every word Ahithophel spoke seemed as wise as though it had come directly from the mouth of God.” Another version says, “as valuable as a prophetic revelation.” NET.
3. He was a man so intelligent that his strategies never failed, if followed. He was a powerful friend and a powerful enemy too.
B. HIS GREAT SON
1. In addition to Ahithophel’s brilliance and position, he had a son which attained high rank also under David, but not because of his brains.
2. In 2 Sam. 23:23-39 is a list of David’s 30 mighty men. Among them is listed “Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite” (vs. 34).
3. So Ahithophel’s son Eliam had attained a legendary rank above Army Rangers, or Navy Seals. Each one of these mighty men could overcome a hundred enemy soldiers in battle, or more.
4. Any father would be proud of having a son who reached such a status. Ahithophel too must have been proud for his son.
II. THE CAUSE OF HIS UNFORGIVENESS
A. DAVID’S AFFAIR WITH BATHSHEBA
1. We’ve all heard of David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba. How he spotted her from the rooftop of his palace taking a bath. He inquired about her and found out she was the wife of one of his 30 mighty men (who were also his body guards), the wife of one Uriah the Hittite.
2. David should have stopped there, because he knew Uriah well; they had to be friends because of their close associations.
3. Also, Uriah would have given his life for David; he was loyal to David. But evidently David wasn’t loyal to Uriah, who was away fighting David’s enemies with the army.
4. So David sent for Bathsheba to be brought into the palace and seduced her. Later, she sent word she was pregnant, so David tried to cover it up by recalling Uriah from the war and trying to get him to spend the night with Bathsheba.
5. Uriah, a soldier to the last, wouldn’t spend the night with his wife while his brother soldiers were fighting at the front. So David sent him back with sealed instructions to the general to have Uriah put in harm’s way, and then pull back and let him be killed. So Uriah died.