Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When torn between the counsel of two parties, how do you decide which advice to follow?
- flip of a coin
- trial and error
- go with the more objective, disinterested party
- go with gut instincts
- ask more questions
2. Whose counsel do you seek when it comes to decisions about which school, job or mate to choose? Why?
3. What do you think of professional advice-givers? Do you read, watch or listen to them regularly? What question would you likely submit to them?
4. What makes Hushai’s words seem credible to Absalom (verses 16 – 19)?
5. What do you see as the major difference between the advice of Ahithophel and the advice of Hushai?
6. Does loyalty to David justify deceiving Absalom or confounding Ahithophel? Why or why not?
7. How does Ahithophel’s suicide strike you and why?
- just desserts
- better him than David
- an answer to David’s prayer
8. What risk is the Lord asking you to take for him?
- what “enemy lines” are you willing to cross (as Hushai did)?
- what “spy messages” will you communicate for your Master in disregard for your own comfort and safety (as Zadok and Abiathar did)?
- what “hiding place” ministry will you conduct to protect innocent people (as did the man and his wife in Barurim)?
9. On the other hand, perhaps you are like Ahithophel.
- where are you looking for an “easy victory” in a tough situation?
- how strong is your desire for the approval of others?
- where have you failed to live up to unrealistic “God-like” expectations placed on you?
- what gets you feeling depressed, even “suicidal” times? (what do you do with those feelings?)
10. In reference to Question #9, how can your faith community help you overcome such tendencies of Ahithophel? And take more risks?
In an audacious move (chapter 16 verse 22), Absalom publicly slept with his father’s concubines for political reasons. It made clear his claim to the throne and was extremely offensive to David. Israelites who had held back their allegiance (hoping that father and son would reconcile) knew now that the breach was permanent. They had to take sides.