Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.” Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom. II Samuel 17:1-14 ESV
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14 ESV
An American poet named Robert Frost once wrote a poem about a man walking in the woods, and coming to a fork in the road. He was sad that he couldn’t travel on both roads, and he wondered which road would be better for him to take. Both roads looked good to him, but he finally decided to take the one that was less traveled. He was sad, because he knew that he’d never have a chance to come back and travel on the other road. He says that to the end of his life he will wonder if he made the right choice. The poem ends:
“I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
There are many times in life when a person has to make a choice, and it’s sometimes hard to know which choice is right. The decisions we make often have an effect on what happens to us later. Even years later some people look back at the choices they’ve made and wonder what might have happened if they’d done things differently. Absalom was at a fork in the road in his rebellion against his father. He got two different pieces of advice. Ahithophel gave him better advice–to go out and attack David and his men right away, to kill David and bring all the people back to Absalom. Hushai said to wait and muster all the troops and have a huge battle. Hushai’s advice was bad advice, but he was giving it for David’s sake. Which advice should Absalom listen to? The road he would take would make all the difference as to whether he won or lost the kingdom. But he and his people foolishly listened to the bad advice, and God used that to stop Absalom.
The most important thing of all is to be on the road that leads to life with God. Many people don’t take this road. They go a different way, away from God, doing things their own way. They find it hard to believe that there is only one way to God, through Jesus. So they don’t come to God through Jesus, but travel the road that leads to separation from God forever. Doing this is the most foolish choice there is. God wants all people to come to him, and he sent Jesus to die on the cross for all people. There is room for everyone in God’s family. God sends us his Holy Spirit so that we turn away from the road that goes the wrong way and put our faith in Jesus. God the Holy Spirit will keep us on the right road, the road that gives us eternal life.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us Jesus, our Savior, and for putting us on the road that leads us to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.