Posted: February 14, 2016 in Chapter 60, When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 60

A thin, business-like man, Ahithophel could only think of life in practical terms. He had no sense of humour and always had an opinion. He knew most of what was going on in the kingdom through David’s intelligence system, headed by a man called Hushai.

Aware of Absalom’s rise in popularity, Ahithophel thought that it was useful to associate with him. Kings and kingdoms meant little to Ahithophel but he had worked hard to get into a position of authority with David and he was gratified by his achievements. Never-the-less, he had been secretly critical of David’s actions in the past.

Why does David tolerate you, you self-righteous old fool, thought Absalom at first. Gradually he came to see Ahithophel as a man of great common sense. He was fastidious in collecting intelligence and could decipher evidence skilfully. His advice was consistently balanced and helpful, no matter how difficult the problem. His only weakness appeared to be his pride.

You are certainly a man to have on side, Absalom thought. He was careful to tell Ahithophel only the things he had wanted to hear in order to gain his friendship.

It seemed to Absalom that David had tried to fawn over Ahithophel by making him chief counsellor, but actually David respected him greatly. Although he was a very proud man, David confided in him because he saw him as a man of integrity. His ability to give wise advice was acknowledged. On a number of occasions David had said, “Ahithophel. I trust you as if you were a prophet giving me a word from the Lord.”

Secretly, Ahithophel had doubts about David’s integrity and received his praise with a measure of reserve. His doubts became stronger as he associated himself with Absalom.

One evening as they spoke, Ahithophel said absentmindedly and sarcastically, “The king has shied away from hearing cases of judgement since the time when Nathan…” He looked embarrassed, not willing to finish what he was thinking in front of the king’s son. He had stepped over the line conversational etiquette and had almost said: “…since the time when Nathan the prophet scolded him for his sin of adultery with my granddaughter.”

Absalom saw his opportunity and had finished the thought. “Yes. He has been reluctant to give judgements because his conscience seems to get in the way of his decisions. He really should appoint an independent judge. Perhaps someone like you.”

This thought took Ahithophel by surprise. He had blushed and said, “No my lord, I am not equipped for the office of a judge”, but feeling more relaxed to speak his mind, he said, “but I can’t help agreeing with you that the king would do well to consider placing someone in that role. I would still be able to give him counsel regarding matters of the kingdom while he would be free from the challenging decisions that need to be made.” Another seed planted.

Absalom had said, “Why don’t you suggest it to him? I am sure he would be more than receptive.”

Ahithophel thought for a while. Of course, he would not be so presumptuous as to mention anything of this conversation to David, but it didn’t hurt to explore the issue. “It would need to be someone who knows the needs of the people well and one who is well acquainted with and respected by the everyone. Someone who cares and who has insight and wisdom into what is happening in Israel.” thought Ahithophel.

The conversation had gone on for some time until it had become obvious to Ahithophel that David had no other choice but to appoint Absalom himself to such a position. Why didn’t this occur to me before this time. He was not surprised that many others agreed.

Pastor Ross

P.S. Don’t forget to purchase a copy of Above the Storm, my new e-book on the ancient book of Job, full of short stories to help you understand some deep truths. This is a creative exploration which doesn’t avoid the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”


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