Sep 5, 2021. II Samuel 17:1-14

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THE HUSHAI HUSTLE.  II Samuel 17:1-14.  09/05/2021.  #38.

II Samuel 17:1-14 [New King James Version]

1 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I will come upon him while he is weary and weak, and make him afraid. And all the people who are with him will flee, and I will strike only the king. 3 Then I will bring back all the people to you. When all return except the man whom you seek, all the people will be at peace.” 4 And the saying pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too.” 6 And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up.” 7 So Hushai said to Absalom: “The advice that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time. 8 For,” said Hushai, “you know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are enraged in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not camp with the people. 9 Surely by now he is hidden in some pit, or in some other place. And it will be, when some of them are overthrown at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even he who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will melt completely. For all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 Therefore I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, like the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we will come upon him in some place where he may be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground. And of him and all the men who are with him there shall not be left so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he has withdrawn into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city; and we will pull it into the river, until there is not one small stone found there.” 14 So Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had purposed to defeat the good advice of Ahithophel, to the intent that the Lord might bring disaster on Absalom.

  1. Ahithophel’s advice
    1. Ahithophel’s advice was always wise and effective
    1. Absalom asks for Ahithophel’s advice:
      1.  Strike David while he is weak and vulnerable
      1.  Ahithophel will lead 12,000 men against David’s troop with the goal of killing David
      1.  Once David is dead, all of Israel will turn to Absalom
    1. Absalom and his men were pleased with Ahithophel’s advice
      1.  It was sound reasoning based on the situation
      1.  David’s men were in no condition to fight a superior force while Israel watched David flee
      1.  All the momentum was on Absalom’s side
    1. Had Abs. attacked immediately, apart from divine intervention, David would have been overwhelmed
  2. Hushai’s gambit
    1. Abs. calls Hushai in to give his advice
      1.  Absalom should have suspected that Hushai was working for David
      1.  God was working to overthrow Ahithophel’s counsel
    1. Abs. informs Hushai of Ahithophel’s advice
      1.  Asks for Hus.’s opinion
      1.  Hushai states that Ahithophel’s advice is not good now
    1. Hushai provided many reasons for caution:
      1.  David is a mighty man of war
      1.  David’s army is full of mighty veteran men
      1.  David’s men are enraged like a bear deprived of her cubs and would fight like madmen
      1.  David would not be with his army, but hidden somewhere, so Ahithophel could not get at him
      1.  When David’s veteran troops defeat the first wave of attackers, the rest of Abs.’s army will flee
    1. Hushai’s advice
      1.  Gather all the people to you from all of Israel
      1.  Attack as one massive unit
      1.  All of David’s men would be crushed
      1.  If the last of David’s army hid in a city, Israel will pull down its walls and cast the stones into the river
    1. Hushai describes an absolute glorious victory for Absalom
      1.  Leaves visions of grandeur in minds of rebels
      1.  The intoxicating narrative is embraced by all
  3. Wishful thinking fantasies
    1. Hushai’s advice is a pie-in-the-sky illusion
      1.  Plays on Abs. and his men’s egos
      1.  Their initial success leaves them over confident
    1. Hushai plays on their ego
      1.  Turns the goal of defeating David into the vision of humiliating all his followers
      1.  Hushai is buying time for David to regroup
    1. Hushai’s advice was unrealistic (only the gullible follow)
      1.  Not all or even most of Israel would flock to Abs.
      1.  Abs. greatly overinflates his popularity and support
      1.  Abs. imagines that all of Isr. wants David gone
    1. Politicians, generals, and business leaders tend to exaggerate their assets and minimize their challenges
      1.  Overconfidence usually end in ruin
      1.  Absalom needed a realistic assessment of his position
      1.  “One rebel is worth ten yanks”, “they will flock to me”

God uses man’s pride against him to destroy him