“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.”
-2 Samuel 17:11
Now this is really interesting in light of praying through second Samuel chapter 16 and our need for good wise counsel in our lives and praying that God would make us good wise counselors in others’ lives. Here in second, Samuel chapter 17, verse 11, Hushai gives deceptive counsel to Absalom in a way that appeals to Absalom’s pride. And Absalom goes along with this deceptive council, primarily because of pride in Absalom.
Pride filters counsel, according to what is best for us instead of filtering counsel according to what is best for others and for the glory of God.
Oh, what a dangerous thing pride is. Pride that filters counsel, according to what is best for us instead of filtering counsel according to what is best for others and for the glory of God. You see the difference. With humility, we think through decisions and we consider counsel in light of what will be good for others and what will be glorifying to God, not what will exalt us, not what will be best for us at the expense of others. So humility says, I want to do what’s wise and good for others and for the glory of God. Pride says, I want to do what’s good for me. I want to do what exalts me, what’s best for me. And that’s the kind of counsel that Absalom gives into here in second, Samuel chapter 17.
And so it’s good for us to pause in light of this verse and pray, God, give us humility. We pray together right now for humility. God, I pray for humility. And we pray for humility in our lives. God rid us of pride, rid us of filtering all our thoughts, and motives, and desires, according to what is best for us, will make us look this way or that way. God rid us of thoughts about ourselves. Help us to think ultimately, first and foremost, over and above everything about you and your glory. God, we pray for God-centered thinking, and God-centered motives, and God-centered desires, and God-centered decisions. God, we want to center everything we do, and think, and desire, and say around you. God, we pray for humility before you and before others. God give us wisdom, we pray to know what is best for others, to live according to what is best for others, to speak in ways that are best for others.
God, we pray that you would rid us of pride. Grant us humility that we might live according to what is best for your glory and others’ good. And you would help us to counsel others in ways that are best for their good and others’ good. And for your glory and to receive counsel from others that is pointing us to living for others, good to loving others well, and ultimately to living for your glory. In Jesus’ name, we pray these things in the name of the one who humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross on our behalf. Jesus, we praise you for your humility and we pray for your humility in us in your name. Amen.